Linda Mazingira Initiative (LMI), is spearheading a two-million tree planting campaign to commemorate people who succumbed to COVID-19 and those who survived the deadly respiratory disease.
The campaign which is a collaborative effort involving LMI, Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and the Healing Tree Initiative, is meant to give hope to the families that lost their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign at St. Antony Okatekok Primary School in Teso South Sub County, LMI Coordinator Patrick Ikwara appealed to the public, Non-Governmental Organizations and other government agencies to join them and ensure the exercise succeeds.
“Trees provide the center for hope and building for tomorrow. We also encourage tree growing in schools besides making concerted efforts to protect water towers like hilltops, riverbanks
and wetlands “he said.
Ikwara, who led in the planting of over 1,500 tree seedlings at the Primary School, appealed to the school community comprising of pupils, teachers and the staff to take care of the trees. He cautioned against allowing herders in search of pasture, to invade school premises saying the livestock will destroy the tree seedlings.
“Once we have planted, we request each partner to take care of the trees for at least three years so that they grow strong in honor of the lives lost to the pandemic,” he said.
Teso South Forest Officer Elijah Oyugi, urged residents to embrace on-farm tree planting which entails replacing trees that have been cut.
“There is pressure on natural trees, thus the need to intensify reforestation efforts by planting more natural trees including bamboo. This will reduce the pressure that is currently threatening depletion of natural trees,” he stated.
Healing Trees, which is a partner organisation in the LMI campaign is a non-profit making global collaborative movement that aims to plant more than 5 million trees around the world in memory of people who perished due to Covid-19.
Currently the movement has presence in 30 countries around the world, Kenya included.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait