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Initiative to plant over 500,000 trees launched in schools

CENTRAL
By James Munyeki | November 25th 2021

Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia (right) holds a tree together with Kenya Forest chief conservator Julius Kamau in Ol Kalou town yesterday when the county signed Transition Implementation plan with KFS. [File]

The military and some civilian agencies have launched an exercise to plant more than 500,000 tree seedlings in Nyandarua County.

Under the initiative, the Kahawa Barracks of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), the Kenya Forest Service, Dedan Kimathi Foundation and Greens of Africa Foundation will plant trees in 73 schools in Kinangop Constituency in its first phase.

The group has planted 5,000 tree seedlings in Karima Girls High School.

According to Major Humphrey Sanders, this is an annual exercise of the Environmental Soldier Programme, where KDF joins key environment stakeholders in sensitizing Kenyans on the need to plant trees.

“This year, we are focusing on Nyandarua, which has in the recent past lost its forest cover due to human encroachment, especially on the Aberdare Ranges,” he said, adding: “We have seen rivers dry as a result of the tree cutting. We want to make sure this stops,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Jedida Wanyeki, the Greens for Africa Foundation CEO. “We want to make Nyandarua County green again,” she said.

Karima Girls principal Grace Wanjiru said the initiative would boost the school’s environmental club. 

Kinangop North Deputy County Commissioner Noah Kibet said they intended to plant over 100,000 tree seedlings in the sub-county’s public schools alone.

He said the need to involve school children in the exercise was to inculcate the culture of tree planting in them.

Dedan Kimathi Foundation chief executive Evelyn Wanjugu said the foundation is supporting and partnering with the government to encourage Kenyans to plant trees, especially during this rainy season to realize the required forest cover.

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