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Kenyans urged to plant trees to restore forests

Nairobi Regional Commissioner (RC), Katee Mwanza, today joined environmental stakeholders and residents of South ‘B’ in Starehe Sub-county for a tree planting exercise, in line with the government’s goal to increase the country’s forest cover.

Mwanza appreciated everyone’s efforts to heed the call of the President, by turning up to plant trees  and fight climate change as  Nairobi being at the forefront in leading the exercise.

The RC cited the pervasive climate change as the cause of the strong heat waves experienced across the country, as he acknowledged the local Community-Based Organization (CBO) Green Cities Organization, for its initiative to work with the government, to conserve the environment.

“This exercise requires dedication to plant trees everywhere, including the riverside, roadside, schools and in other social amenities, in order to reach the 12 million target, set for Nairobi County,” stated Mwanza.

The RC revealed that there are plans to consolidate resources from the National and County Governments, NGOs and other stakeholders, to ensure this environmental initiative succeeds.

He urged the residents of Nairobi to commit themselves in pushing forward with the exercise of making Nairobi, secure and clean, as they consider the City to be the largest in East Africa and a convention center and tourism destination worldwide.

“We must do everything to ensure the President’s order of achieving the 30 percent tree cover,  up from 12 percent is achieved,” Mwanza maintained, adding that the goal for Nairobi is to achieve a 100 percent vegetation cover.

The RC pointed out that cancerous diseases have proliferated due to air and water pollution and that tree planting will go a long way in cleaning the environment of the burnt fossil fuels from vehicles and toxic water to all living things.

Mwanza called upon the community leaders and CBOs to manage the trees planted which will form part of paid volunteer work, just like the Kazi Mtaani in the last administration, as he assured constant water supply at least three times in a week without disruptions.

He advised the youth to take advantage of the Hustler Fund to invest in small businesses and grow, while at the same time increasing their credit limit and also undertake community policing, to eliminate crime in the area.

“Let us join hands and have a relationship as patriotic citizens, by reporting lawlessness to the relevant authorities and since every government office has an open door policy, the information will help us on security and development matters,” added Mwanza.

The RC disclosed that the government has a plan to create parks in open fields and sections of the Nairobi River and will commit to support all volunteers in the project of managing the environment of Nairobi County.

At the same time, the Deputy County Commissioner Starehe Sub-county, John Kisang, said that tree planting in the entire Nairobi region is the second place to succeed, the first one being the reclamation of Nairobi River, where trees have been planted and garbage cleaned out.

He reiterated that the goal is to increase the success rate to 100 percent and welcomed everyone to participate in this noble exercise.

Meanwhile, Green Cities Organization Team Leader Sammy Mwendwa appreciated the government’s support in offering seedlings citing a current success rate of 95 percent in the Nairobi South Region.

“There are plans to actualize 25, 000 trees within Nairobi and we therefore call on all available support,” said Mwendwa.

He nevertheless highlighted water challenges as among the issues that would affect the survival of trees planted and therefore appealed to the government to ensure constant supply of water.

Mwendwa also assured that the government will consider the welfare of the volunteers, noting that they needed support and motivation so that they continue giving their all in environmental conservation exercise.

By Hamdi Mohamud and Michael Omondi

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