Kwale County residents have been urged to invest in planting trees to realize sustainable development and fight climate change.
Area Governor Fatuma Achani says planting trees is not only beneficial to the environment but also improves people’s physical and mental health.
Achani contends that planting trees helps in reducing air pollution, improving the urban environment and reducing the devastating impacts of climate change such as droughts and flooding.
She says tree planting plays an important role in addressing impacts of climate change, and mitigating effects of climate change besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Trees are vital to our existence because they provide us with oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and by doing so they act as the game changer in reversing global warming,” said Achani.
The governor says her administration will spare no efforts in environmental conservation measures in the coastal county to ensure people’s health and safety is safeguarded during these extreme climate change events.
Achami spoke at the Kwale County Referral Hospital during a tree planting exercise attended by area County Commissioner (CC) Gideon Oyagi, her Deputy Chirema Kombo and a host of senior county and national government officials.
She said the devolved unit in collaboration with the national government and others stakeholders will launch a countywide massive tree planting drive across the six sub counties of Matuga, Msambweni, Shimba Hills, Kinango, Samburu and Lunga Lunga.
During the event more than 1,000 ingenious and exotic trees were planted in the sprawling hospital compound to conserve the environment and increase climate resilience.
People from different walks of life, government agencies, public officers, ordinary citizens and public representatives were invited and encouraged to participate in the county tree planting event under the slogan ‘Let’s plant trees to conserve our environment’.
Achani noted that the world is getting more and more urbanized and that demand for housing is putting pressure on green spaces thus leading to the replacement of such treasured green spaces with ‘concrete surfaces and jungles’.
The county boss urged area residents to adopt the tree planting initiative not only in institutions such as learning institutions, offices and hospitals but also in their homesteads.
“It is therefore imperative for urban centres to preserve a sufficient amount of green cover in a bid to maintain environmental stability and ecological balance,” said Achani.
While emphasizing on the need to restore the ecosystem Achani has promised to engage all and sundry to protect the environment.
“We need to replenish the ecosystem through the planting of more trees because Kwale has lost a lot of tree species due to deforestation,” she said.
On his part, Oyagi encouraged the residents of the county to participate in the ambitious plan of planting 15 billion trees as part of the national government’s climate change mitigation agenda.
The administrator has urged the people to plant trees against deforestation and curb the effects of climate change on the environment and to save humanity.
“As residents we should embrace planting trees every day which will eventually benefit humankind and our environment,” said Oyagi, adding that Kenyans should support and appreciate the government’s effort to fight climate change and save our planet earth.
“We will continue to engage residents, leaders and stakeholders in the protection of the environment from further destruction,” he emphasized, noting that the latest tree planting drive is an effort to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment.
The county commissioner has urged young people, individuals and organizations throughout the country to cultivate the habit of planting more trees, especially at degraded areas to protect the environment.
Oyagi says the current Kenya Kwanza administration has now set a new ambitious, but achievable goal of realizing 30 percent tree cover by 2032.
The previous goal of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration was 30 per cent tree cover by 2050, while the late President Mwai Kibaki’s goal was 10 per cent by 2030.
By Hussein Abdullahi