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University set to plant 3,000 trees this week

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

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