- The devolved government partnered with development partners; IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre, ICPAC and ClimSA during the launch.
- He urged every resident to plant at least three trees at the onset of the coming rain season and take good care of them.
The Machakos government has launched an initiative to plant over 100,000 trees in 98 public schools across the county.
Governor Wavinya Ndeti’s administration launched the programme at Mumbuni Primary School located within Machakos Town subcounty where more than 200 seedlings were planted.
Deputy Governor Francis Mwangangi presided over the launch last Friday.
The devolved government partnered with development partners; IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre, ICPAC and ClimSA during the launch.
Mwangangi said the project targets to ensure that at least 1,000 trees are planted in each of the 97 schools that included primary, secondary and technical training institutions within the county.
He said the initiative will be implemented in two phases with 103 trees planted in each of the institutions in the first phase as the country awaits to receive rainfall. The other trees will be planted in the second phase.
“This project is called Governor Wavinya Ndeti Tree Planting Initiative intended to increase vegetation cover across the county,” Mwangangi said.
“At the national level, President William Ruto has urged the country to plant at least 15 billion trees. Here in Machakos, we are heeding that call and we are ready to surpass it. Today we have started that programme here in Mumbuni Primary School and Junior Secondary.
Mwangangi said the project would operate on the basis of the 'adopt a child adopt a tree’ model where each child will take care of the trees to enable them to grow.
“I urge residents of Machakos county to plant as many trees as possible. Let’s increase vegetation cover together. As a county government we have been planting trees in our markets and urban centres,” he said.
He urged the public not to interfere with the trees and instead take good care of them warning of legal consequences for those who destroy them.
Mwangangi said their administration will not allow reckless destruction of the environment that had been witnessed in the last two decades.
“As leaders of this great county, we have a duty to lead our people from the front in matters of environmental protection. We shall add our voice through action to the recently concluded COP27 in Egypt. Our governor was part of the Kenyan team that had joined heads of states and delegates from around the world in Egypt,” he said.
He said Machakos forests were in a pathetic state and they couldn’t sit and watch them deteriorate further.
Mwangangi said no Machakos resident will be left behind in the environmental protection campaign.
He said the county government was on an ambitious water harvesting mission by sinking more dams.
Mwangangi said the water harvesting program will complement their tree growing efforts.
He urged every resident to plant at least three trees at the onset of the coming rain season and take good care of them.
IGAD programme coordinator Zachary Atheru said the event was important since it acts as a predicate to the National Tree Planting Day in Kenya celebrated on April 21.
“The tree planting initiative is being organised at a time when the African region including Kenya is facing serious drought. The Northern and Eastern and Semi–Arid lands of Kenya have been impacted negatively by drought experienced, whose severity has not been experienced in the last 40 years,” Atheru said.
Atheru said more than 4.4 million residents of ASAL regions were highly food insecure due to ongoing drought and effects of consecutive five years of failed rainfall seasons.
“The main reason we should actively participate in growing trees is solemnly for mother earth that is ailing after many years of pollution and environmental degradation. Many trees have been cut down that need to be replaced, hence your active participation in events like these that contribute towards environmental recovery,” he said.
He said growing trees will help stop reverse deforestation, gas emissions and restore 5.1 million acres of destroyed forests.
Atheru said reforestation and afforestation were encouraged as solutions to the climate crisis.