As forest cover continues to be a challenge in Kenya and other parts of the world, the government is making its mark in encouraging the increase of forest cover which is embedded in the Kenyan Constitution of achieving the 10% forest cover. The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) is playing its part by supporting this noble cause. Last week, KCIC took part in the inaugural Makueni County Afforestation Drive which was part of the nation wide target of increasing the forest cover to 10% by the year 2030.
KCIC supported the drive in the county by donating 5,000 seedlings which were planted at the school and neighboring households. The drive was a culmination of an ongoing exercise that has seen more than 25,000 seedlings planted all over Makueni County.
Speaking at the ceremony, The Planning Principal Secretary Dr. Julius Muia noted that the rate at which trees are being cut as compared to planting is a great concern. “The decrease in forest cover has been a major contributor of land degradation and reduction of water from the catchment areas,” he said.
He added that due to the reduction of forest cover, timber and charcoal have become costly as a result of the increase in demand and decrease in supply.
The event was marked at Nduundune Primary and Secondary School in Emali where 2,000 seedlings were planted. KCIC has adopted the school for the sustainability of the trees. The seedlings will be allocated to different classes who will be charged with the responsibility of taking care of them. KCIC also donated water tanks to assist in harvesting water for maintaining the seedlings.
Ruth Ndegwa, the Corporate Services Director noted that KCIC is keen on leaving its foot print in mitigating and adapting to climate change and planting trees is one of the key steps to dealing with the climate effects that Kenya has been facing in the recent past.
“We are happy to have partnered with the Ministry of Planning and the school for this noble event. If we all take responsibility for our environment, the future generations will have a better place to thrive in,” she noted.
The event comes a week before the National Tree Planting Day which will be marked on Saturday 12thMay, 2018 by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Moi Forces Academy under the theme ‘Panda miti, Penda Kenya’.
In March this year, the Environment Cabinet Secretary (CS) Keriako Tobiko launched a national tree planting campaign at the Ngong Forest Reserve to contribute to the target of achieving the 15% forest cover by the year 2022. According to the CS, each county is expected to have planted one million trees every year.
By Mercy Mumo