Former President Mwai Kibaki urges Kenyans to plant more trees to fight drought

Friday December 2 2016

Former President Mwai Kibaki is conferred with

Former President Mwai Kibaki is conferred with an honorary doctoral degree in environmental studies at Maasai Mara University in Narok on December 2, 2016. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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Former President Mwai Kibaki has urged Kenyans to plant trees to stem the current drought that has left nearly 10 million Kenyans facing starvation.

Speaking on Friday at Maasai Mara University, where he was awarded an honorary PhD in environmental studies, Mr Kibaki, who is also a Unesco special envoy for water in Africa, urged universities in particular to lead in the war against environmental degradation.

He said he will support the university to initiate an annual tree-planting marathon to preserve the ecosystem for which it was named.

“This effort should start right from the Mau Forest to the extreme ends of the Mara basin,” Mr Kibaki said during the graduation ceremony at the university in Narok.

“It is noteworthy that I accept this recognition at a time when 10 million Kenyans are reported to be facing starvation on account of prolonged drought,” said the former president.

The graduation was held days after unrest that saw the university closed indefinitely two weeks ago.

Some lecturers and human rights activists unsuccessfully tried to stop the graduation, citing academic mismanagement.

They said the university was not issuing transcripts until the end of the academic year, catching many would-be graduates off guard.