The country requires about two billion tree seedlings to realize the ten per global threshold of forest cover as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Subsequently, the president of Ruiru Rotary Club and the District Environment Committee Chairman, Mburu Machua has appealed to Kenyans to plant more tree seedlings to help the country meet the ten per cent forest cover.
“As a country we are currently at a meagre six per cent and we need to do two billion seedlings and this is not a walk in the park,” he said.
Machua was speaking at the Aberdare National Park headquarters in Mweiga town in Nyeri County on Saturday, during the launch of a tree planting campaign in the region.
The Chairman noted that the World Health Organization has said that the number one killer in urban areas is respiratory related diseases and the only solution to the menace is by planting more trees.
He said they are working with other stakeholders to establish nurseries in schools to ensure they realized the two billion seedlings, adding that the club is promoting the use of alternative cheap, safe, renewable and green energy as a measure to ensure a clean environment that does not pose health risks to the people.
Machua said the club is also promoting the cleanup of rivers noting that they are in a mess.
“We are relying on these rivers to get water for drinking and irrigation and for our animals,” he added.
The Rotarian said the major challenge facing the club is the acquisition of the two billion tree seedlings, noting that a single plant goes for Sh.100.
Machua added that they are promoting the use of biogas, solar power, wind energy and a paperless society to protect and conserve trees.
The Chairman disclosed that the Rotarian Environment Committee is pursuing resources set aside by the developing countries that highly pollute the environment through industries to ensure that also the devolved units in the country benefit.
He urged towns like Nyeri to promote recycling for the sake of human health and clean air.
“Environment is the cornerstone of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda,” Machua said, adding that achieving food security and nutrition, good health, manufacturing and housing were not possible without a clean environment.
He that if the environment is not protected, some islands across the world would become extinct.
Machua revealed the rotary club had planted 20,000 tree seedlings since the inception of the programme in Nairobi, Nakuru, Embu, Kajiado and Kiambu and would be launching the programme in the remaining counties by the end of the year.
By Mwangi Gaitha