Chief Administrative Secretary for Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Maureen Mbaka led a tree planting exercise in the Mau Forest complex to replenish the water tower.
The exercise that saw at least 5000 trees planted also involved senior officials from the ICT Authority in an effort to increase forest cover in areas that were depleted due to human encroachments.
Ms Mbaka maintained that the planting of trees was among the government’s target to attain at least 10 per cent forest cover by 2022 against the backdrop of the just concluded climate change Glasgow meeting.
“The Presidential Directive for 2019/2020 Financial Year under ‘National Strategy for achieving and maintaining over 10 per cent tree cover by 2022 and the same was also encouraged during the just ended Glasgow Climate Change summit, we are here today officially to launch the exercise,” she said.
The exercise took place at Embomos-Itare forest of the Mau Complex Forest that covers four counties which include Bomet, Kericho, Narok and Nakuru counties.
Ms Mbaka maintained that the theme of the event was aiming at upgrading forest cover percentage in the country at the same time equipping students with electronic devices to boost digital literacy in the country.
“The government has vowed to take care of our forests which also act as carbon sinks and water catchment areas in our country at the same time pushing digital literacy, this is in line with government agenda on integration of technology in teaching and learning and environmental conservation,” explained Mbaka.
Teaming up with schools in Konoin Sub County, they planted 5000 trees in conjunction with Kenya Forest Service.
ICTA Acting Director, Dr Paul Rono, affirmed that 645 public schools in Bomet County have so far received 30,000 devices to boost the digital literacy in line with the government’s effort to integrate technology in learning across basic education in the country.
Dr Rono added that the authority is encouraging learners to plant trees equivalent to the number of devices distributed in the area to attain the one device one tree theme.
“This programme is a key pillar in the current CBC programme and the objective is to equip our learners with required competencies for the 21st digital economy at the same time training them adequate skills of conserving the environment,” explained Dr. Korir.
The government has so far distributed over one million devices in over 22,000 public primary schools, which is 99 per cent of schools under the programme.
Digital content is installed in these devices and other learning materials can be accessed in the Kenya Education Cloud where learners can access the content.
The government’s next plan on this programme is to upscale utilization of the already distributed devices in schools, complete installation of devices in the remaining 2000 new schools.
By Kipngeno Korir