About 2300 members of Peace Ambassadors Integration Organization (PAMBIO) planted 20,000 trees in Nyeri County in an initiative to conserve the environment.
Pambio, an initiative started in February 2012 brings together youths from universities and colleges under the patronage of the Kenya Administration Police Service
The exercise took place on Monday at Tanyai forest located 35km from Nyeri town along the Nyeri-Nyahururu Highway
A big portion of the forest has been destroyed by loggers and charcoal burners which has had a significant impact on the climate of the area.
Prior to the launch, the organization officials together with the local authorities held “community barazas” where they trained people on environmental conservation and encouraged the public to participate in the tree planting exercise.
One of their programs, Green Print Initiative focused on environmental conservation. Since its inception in November 2015 they have mobilized planting of over 20,000 trees in various parts of the country.
Assistant County Commissioner, Nyeri County and Board member of PAMBIO James Nandi noted the introductory project was Mau project which is now an annual event held on World Environment Day.
“Last year they planted 7000 trees while this year at Tanyai forest they had a 21 km half marathon and the tree planting exercise where we planted over 7000 trees,” Nandi said.
"The community and everyone surrounding the forest area must take full responsibility to safeguard the planted area in order to realize it full recovery," Nandi said.
Kenya Forest Service officer Francis Mathinji lauded the marathon as a fantastic initiative that should be carried out each year.
“In addition to helping our youth keep physically fit, we will be sensitizing them on environmental conservation. We have a commitment from Kieni Member of Parliament to build a fence around the forest. This will help the vegetation regenerate with minimum interference," Mathinji stated.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega who was also present at the exercise made a commitment to fence off the forest which measures about 800ha
After the tree planting exercise, Pambio held the Tanyai marathon that brought together over 300 professional and amateur athletes who participated in the race after which the winners were awarded Sh20,000 while the first and second runners up received Sh10,000 and Sh5,000 respectively. The winners were:
Simon Kiruthi- 1.08.53
Jameson Kabuku - 01.09.04
Pius Karanja 01.10.04
Margaret Kariuki -01.23.43
Nancy Wanjiru- 01.30.30
Dorothy Kiptanui- 01.34.32