The government has launched a national tree planting campaign. The exercise will see 10 million tree seedlings planted during the current rainy season in line with the government’s targets to achieve 10 per cent forest cover by 2022.
The exercise spearheaded by Ministry of Environment and Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA), saw over 6, 500 tree seedlings planted in two institutions in Kajiado County last week.
KWTA acting Director General Julius Tanui said the exercise aims at ensuring all the five major water towers in the country – Mau, Mount Kenya, Aberdares, Cherangany and Mount Elgon – are conserved.
1 MILLION TREES
He said they target to plant 1 million trees in Kajiado County which currently has only 3.5 per cent forest cover.
Already 3, 000 seedlings have been planted at Umma University, 2, 000 at Masai Technical Training Institute, 500 seedlings in Namanga Mixed Secondary and 1,000 seedlings in AIC Canaan Academy.
“We will make sure we attain 10 per cent tree cover by 2022 by planting 10 million trees,” said Mr Tanui.
“We cannot attain this tree cover if we do not plant trees, we are targeting more learning institutions during the exercise this month,” added Mr Tanui.
He said that the exercise is one of the enabling pillars of the government’s Big Four Agenda. He said the agency will partner with institutions, county governments and the local community to achieve the target.
Prof Tunai said the institutions have the means to protect the seedlings to maturity.
“It is not just about planting trees now, it is about making sure that the planted trees attain maturity,” he said.
Umma University Vice-Chancellor Idle Farah said the institution is ready to help in the afforestation of Kenya.
“We are happy the university was selected among institutions in Kajiado County to plant 1 million tree seedlings. We are looking forward to signing a proper Memorandum of Understanding with KWTA to further environmental conservation in Kajiado County,” said Dr Farah.