The Mt. Kenya University (MKU) has launched a tree planting drive that targets to plant 3,000 indigenous trees this week in efforts to green Kiambu County.
The drive, that kicked off on Thursday in the University’s main campus in Thika town and extended to the nearby estates of Landless is expected to spread to Lari area in Aberdares Forest this week.
Already 2,000 trees have been planted in the last few days through its partnership with the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUMA) and Red Cross.
The University’s Vice Chancellor, Stanley Waudo said the event will contribute to the Government’s agenda to raise forest cover to 10 percent.
He said part of the forest that has acted as the water source by some major rivers in the County has over the years been left bare due to high rate of deforestation, thereby leading to dry rivers.
He said effects of climate change and deforestation of the Aberdares Forest played a part in the drought that hit several parts of the Mt. Kenya region recently and called on locals to help in increasing the forest’s tree cover.
“We should support afforestation programmes at our water towers so as to be safe in future. I believe we have enough tree seedlings to replenish the tree cover in the Aberdares and we call for the support of all,” said the VC during a tree planting exercise in the University’s Happy Valley Botanic Garden on Friday.
He added that trees that will be planted in harsh weather conditions will be watered frequently to enhance survival rates.
Farmers will be given tree seedlings to plant in their farms, in efforts to encourage agro forestry as well as sustainable agriculture.
Pelum works with the small-scale farmers to promote an ecological land use management system that enhances agro-forestry and crop diversification to address effects of climate change.
By Muoki Charles