Repainting Kakamega

By David Jomo

Walking on the streets of Kakamega, I saw a promising environment. Some lawns around imbended with street lights.  I saw yellow bananas ripe, just juicy to eat. As I was filling my stomach with the sweetness,  I looked around to see where I could through my banana dirt. My eyes could not find a dustbin. So I walked on with my dirt in my hand. As I reached near Bukhungu Stadium, in a sparse lane, I threw away the dirt, hoping I could not be able seen by Kanjos.

On the opposite site of the road, I saw Flowers,  and trees with a poster, ‘trees for sale.’ Some seedlings had outgrown,  about to be a full grown tree. And I saw the seller,  she was an old woman, may be late forties or early fifties.  She sat patiently.  I hope I had a coin and go to purchase of one tree. I wish I had.

So I walked to Lurambi round about,  and the drainage was quite superb. Waters could run carefully to lake Victoria. Electricity wires flooded the near horizon,  with neon lights of Mpesa and Kinyozi shops beautified eyes of passers by. I walked on to take a matatu, which cricked all the way to Malava. I must admit the tracks of land that spread on the way were so large. I just wished each one would have a coin and go back to the woman opposite Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and buy a tree, and plant one. I think we would be painting the County as it is, the Green Jewel in its true sense.

As I took a motorcycle to reach my home, I was keen to see the number of trees on the way. I must admit,  more than sixty per cent of all the trees I saw were only exotic.  Blue gums, cypress and pine dominated the way. I think this why the sky is always blue with dead rays descending on our shoulders.  Blue gums even at river banks! No this is not fair.

Government policies are not enough.  Setting up institutions is not enough.  Running advertisements is not enough.  Talking about tree planting is not enough.  Going forward,  all these is not enough.

We need a more changed perspective as individuals.  A preacher once said, we should not live like we are heirs of our rich ancestry,  but but borrowers of tomorrow. Living on borrowed time demands we all take care of anything that can be within our reach. I dream of a time when we shall hold the true value of identity, as Jewels of our great County. I look forward to when planting indigenous trees shall outway planting of exotic trees. I look forward to a world where cutting a tree hurts someone like chopping of one’s foot. That time, I shall pride that I am Luhyia from Kakamega.

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