Environmentalist Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti has explained why a tree that was planted in memory of the late Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai was cut down.
Last week, a picture of the stump of the tree caused uproar among Kenyans on social media with demands to know who cut it down and for what reasons.
According to Ms Wathuti, the tree was cut down last month after it split into two and posed a risk to children who use a nearby footpath.
“Nature had taken its course,” she explained.
“The tree behind the pool right at the Prof Wangari Mathai memorial is splitting into two. It’s a huge risk as kids use that route to the pool and cricket field.”
“When the guys involved got my message, that path was closed on both ways. However, when we were still here deliberating on what to do next, one half of that tree came all the way down and actually damaged the water treatment plant and the remaining half was also posing a risk to the children as it also appeared weak from the top branches and that’s why it also had to come down,” the environmentalist added.
The tree had been planted a long time ago, but the institution saw it right to dedicate it in memory of the late Prof Wangari Maathai in 2011.
One of the institution’s administrator added that the reason the stump was still there is because they believe the tree will actually re-sprout.
The institution has planted eight tree seedlings along the same line where the tree was cut as a replacement for the same.
The late Prof Maathai, who died on 2011, was the first African Woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004.