Kenyans have been urged to take advantage of the short rains and plant trees in order to safe-guard the environment against degradation.
Green Africa Foundation Chairperson Dr. Isaac Kalua said it is the responsibility of every Kenyan to conserve the environment for future generations and this can only be achieved if everyone plants the number of trees commensurate to their age yearly.
Speaking in Nkairumunya Monday, during the ‘Plant your age’ campaign, Dr. Kalua noted that forests play a very important role in climate change and biodiversity and the destruction of the forest cover has contributed to the fluctuating weather pattern being experienced in the country.
“Today is a day to remind ourselves of the relationship that we have with trees and how we should co-exist and conserve the environment. We all have a responsibility to conserve our environment for ourselves and for the generation and this will be achieved if we all commit to planting trees”, he said.
Dr. Kalua noted that the ‘Plant your age ‘campaign seeks to enhance and unify tree growing across Kenya as a personalized commitment to environmental conservation and realization of the 10 per cent tree cover by the year 2022.
He called on Kenyans to plant trees equivalent to their respective ages and commit to ensuring that the trees grow to maturity so as to help restore forest cover.
Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority (ENSDA), Managing Director Ngala Oloitiptip urged Kajiado residents to take advantage of the initiative hosted in their county to lead other Kenyans in tree planting and conservation.
He noted that the county has a low percentage of tree cover and challenged locals to embrace tree planting so as to promote forest cover and preserve water catchment areas.
Olotiptip further revealed that ENSDA had embarked on rehabilitation of thousands of acres of land in Episomoru and Maasai Mau where the first phase of eviction of forest dwellers was done last year.
He added that his organization had embarked on a bamboo commercialization project in
Nakuru, Narok and Nyandarua counties that will result in the establishment of a bamboo processing plant.
The bamboo plantation project and factory which is estimated to cost Sh 670 million is expected to go a long way in mitigating the effect of climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as bamboo plays a vital role in the protection of the soil and water catchment areas.
“We have embarked on a bamboo commercialization project in Narok, Nakuru and Nyandarua counties. We expect to have at least 5000 acres under bamboo plantation in the next three years in Eposimoru and Maasai Mau” said the MD.
Kajiado North legislator Joseph Manje, who was also present during the function, said the ‘plant your age’ concept was timely as embracing afforestation would not only help preserve forest cover but also conserve the environment so as to enhance food security and counter the effects of drought.
“If you are 20 old, plant 20 trees. If you are 50, ensure that you plant 50 trees. This will ensure that we achieve the 10 per cent forest cover by the year 2022 and help conserve the environment for future generations”, said the legislator.
The ‘Plant your age’ campaign, an initiative of the Green Africa foundation, is marked on September 14 every year and focuses on individuals of all walks of life to plant trees equivalent to their age and ensure that they grow to maturity as a way of working towards realising the 10 per cent tree cover as articulated in the Kenyan Constitution 2010 and in Vision 2030.
During the event marked in Nkairumunya, over 400 seedlings were planted with youth enrolled in the National Hygiene Project ‘Kazi Mtaani’ incorporated in the exercise.
By Rop Janet