Articles

The changing face of Kakamega Town

By, David Jomo.

Walking on the streets of Kakamega, I saw a promising environment. Green lawns, old trees, dark-flowing streets, and a huge human population.  I saw yellow bananas ripe, just to eat. I approached the hawker to get a bite. I then looked around for a dustbin to dispose my banana dirt. My eyes could not find any.  So, I walked on with the dirt in my hand. As I reached near Bukhungu Stadium, in a sparse lane, I threw away the dirt, hoping I could not be seen by Kanjos.

On the opposite side of the road, I saw flowers, and trees with a poster, ‘ for sale.’ Some seedlings had outgrown to be transplanted.  I saw the seller, an old woman, maybe in her late forties or early fifties.  She sat patiently, waiting for a buyer.

So, I walked to the Lurambi roundabout. On the side, 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 beautifying the eyes of a passersby. I walked on to take a matatu, which cricked to Malava. I must admit the tracks of land that spread on the way were so large. I just wished owners would have phones to call the woman opposite Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, to order a bunch of trees for planting. I think in so doing, we would be walking the talk, as green jewels.

As I took a motorcycle to reach my home from Malava town stage, I was keen to see the number of trees on the way. I must admit, more than sixty percent of all the trees I saw were exotic.  Blue gums, cypress, and pine dominated the way. I think this is 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 are not enough.

We need a more changed perspective as residents. A preacher once said, that we should not live like we are heirs of our past but, as borrowers of our tomorrow. Living on borrowed time demands that we 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 out way planting of exotic trees. I look forward to a world where cutting a tree hurts someone like chopping off one’s foot. That time, I shall wear the pride of Luhyia culture

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