By Callyst Imbayi, Kakamega
A charity Organisation has embarked on an ambitious initiative of environmental conservation by planting over 115,000 trees in all public schools in Shinyalu Constituency heeding to President William Ruto’s clarion call to attain the national forest cover of 15 Billion trees in the next ten years.
The Ikana Maendeleo Foundation under the patronage of Shinyalu Member of parliament Hon Fred Lusuli intends to plant 500 tree seedlings in each of the 230 public learning institutions in the constituency in order to boost the general forest cover percentage and prevent the deforestation of Kakamega forest.
The programme, which is projected to cost over Ksh. 4 Million, was launched at Shikulu Primary School which is situated adjacent to the only remaining tropical rain forest in Africa.
The Foundation’s manager Martin Lusuli said the move was aimed at ensuring that they contribute to the government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming.
“Many of the seedlings are indigenous so as to promote a clean environment and boost the availability of clean air and water to our people,” Lusuli said.
The official stated that they fully involved the institutions and local communities so that they could own the initiative.
He said they also wanted to inculcate and encourage the spirit of environmental conservation amongst learners and members of the local communities.
“We expect the schools and members of the respective communities to own these programmes by ensuring that the trees are well taken care of so that they can grow,” Lusuli said.
Two Months ago President William Ruto launched the Government’s agenda to increase Kenya’s forest cover to more than 30 per cent by 2032 to eradicate the negative effects of climate change, especially in arid and semi-arid areas.
“Without a doubt, climate change is complicating our roadmap towards socio-economic transformation and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals,” said the President.
He said the Government was in the final stages of designing a Special Presidential Forestry and Rangeland Restoration Acceleration Programme.
“The plan is to grow 5 billion trees in the next 5 years, and an additional 10 billion trees between 2027 and 2032. This will eventually lead to the rehabilitation and restoration of 10.6 million hectares through constituency nerve centres in the 290 constituencies, as well as some specially selected ecosystems,” said the President.
Lusuli appealed to the current national government, County government and other well-wishers to support the initiative saying environmental conservation was key in ensuring that people led a healthy and well-deserving life.
Shinyalu MP has already committed to giving in his support by diverting all his Monthly pay to the organization in order to run its activities among which is conservation, education and economic empowerment.