As you enter Nakuru Town from Nairobi, there is a roundabout. Locals refer to it as the Gate House roundabout.
For many years, a line coconut tree has stood in the middle of the roundabout. In recent years, the tree had dried up. But to the locals, it was still part of Nakuru landmarks and they loved it.
Towards the end of last year, the tree was cut down. Actually uprooted. For those who cared to ask, the response was that the tree had dried up anyway. The promise of another tree in its place was given.
A senior county official who chose to remain anonymous revealed that the roundabout had been taken over by a church. The Kingdom Seekers Church has also taken over the roundabout outside Naivas Supermarket, Oginga Odinga road branch.
On further enquiry, the official had revealed that the church was “a huge investor in Nakuru County” and could have its way in a lot of things.
Most residents have been looking forward to see another tree planted at the roundabout. Unfortunately, a metal structure has been set up in the middle. And this has left the locals unamused.
“The tree should have been replaced with another tree not an ugly looking metal structure,” says Wakibia a Nakuru based activist.The outspoken photo-activist has been in the forefront highlighting issues affecting Nakuru residents. He highlighted the wrong disposal of medical waste at Gioto dump site causing a national hue and cry. Currently he’s lobbying for the proper disposal of asbestos waste.
“We should protect our environment by all means. The county government should actually be at the forefront encouraging people to plant trees. Unfortunately, they are busy auctioning our legacy to the highest bidder,” said the environmentalist.
Other residents of Nakuru Town are also not happy about it.
“So this madness of cutting down of trees, (and) replacing it with billboards has been devolved?” Wondered Cyprian Chagina a resident.
“The roundabout was all green. Now it’s full of concrete. Who advises these people?” Wonders Wakibia.
A section of the residents are demanding that the metal structure be removed and a tree planted.
“They should remove it before we do,” they threaten.