Kaptagat annual tree planting campaign set for Friday - Tobiko

In Summary

• The exercise targets to boost government efforts towards realization of 10% forest cover.

• There will also be cycling competition and launch of the "Integrated Masterplan for the Rehabilitation and Restoration Elgeyo Cherangany Hills Ecosystem".

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko in City Park on June 10, 2020.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko in City Park on June 10, 2020.
Image: MERCY MUMO

The 5th edition of the Kaptagat Annual Tree Planting Campaign will be held on Friday, Environment CS Keriako Tobiko has announced.

The exercise targets to mobilise stakeholders to, plant and grow over 350,000 trees and fruit seedlings on the 225 hectares of degraded forests land in Kaptagat and also boost government efforts towards realization of 10% forest cover.

The CS added that during the event, there will also be cycling competition and launch of the "Integrated Masterplan for the Rehabilitation and Restoration Elgeyo Cherangany Hills Ecosystem".

Last Saturday, Tobiko told Kenyans that the ongoing exercise of tree planting by his ministry countrywide is meant for posterity.

"What we are doing is not for our benefit but our children and the future of our nation," the CS said.

Tobiko remarked during a tree planting exercise at East Africa University in Kitengela on Saturday where a total of 2,500 seedlings were planted at the institution’s compound. 

The collaborative exercise between Kenya Forest Service, East Africa University, Equity Bank and Greens of and the Africa Foundation was held under the theme "green up our neighbourhood."

The CS speaking during the exercise encouraged members of the community from all walks of life around the university to conserve their environment. 

Tobiko urged the various departments in his ministry to engage and partner with the learning institution to establish a model tree nursery that would benefit everyone around the institution's environs.

The deputy chief conservator of Forests, Alex Lemarkoko lauded the university for putting tree planting and environmental matters as a key objective of their development roadmap. 

Lemarkoko noted that the commitment of the students and university administration was instrumental in securing a cleaner and safer environment in Kajiado county.

Other partners and stakeholders present including Equity Bank and Dedan Kimathi Foundation pledged to continue supporting KFS and the larger government's efforts in forest conservation.

Conservationists and environmental stakeholders will participate in the restoration .

WWF National Forest Programme Manager Kiunga Kareko said the 5th Edition of Annual Kaptagat Tree Planting is a key part of the larger plan for the restoration of the ecosystem.

“The event happening tomorrow is the highlight that calls for restoration of the forest and the surrounding areas. We should all join hands to save this critical ecosystem,” he said.

The North Rift Conservancy Ag. Head of Conservation Anthony Musyoka said 65,490 trees seedlings have been planted since July 19.

"Progress is impossible without change and those whose cannot change their minds cannot change anything and Kaptagat needs more of willing partners for this change to be realised," Musyoka said.

He said they plan to plant 310 000 assorted indigenous seedlings for this year's event.

"The event tomorrow will realise planting of 11,000 assorted indigenous seedlings at Kaptagat Forest," Musyoka said.

WWF-Kenya has contributed 110,290 assorted indigenous tree seedlings and 3,090 bamboo seedlings for Sh4m.

As part of the campaign to promote conservation in the region, a cycling race will be held on July 25 in Eldoret drawing participants from the local community and members of professional ameature cycling groups.

Further, the cyclists are also raising awareness for #MyLane2 campaign which calls for the adoption of Non-Motorised Transport .

“We call on the Kenyan people as right-holders to come together to advocate and call on policymakers to take action and prioritise NMT as a key enabler towards reducing our footprint through various interventions," WWF-Kenya said.

Friday’s tree-planting exercise has attracted a cross-section of stakeholders, including county governments, Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, various state agencies, higher learning institutions, private sector, Community Forest Associations among others.