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ADAK joins climate change mitigation efforts by planting 1000 trees at Kakamega forest

By Isaac Mutiso, Kakamega

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has joined the climate change mitigation efforts by planting at least 1000 trees at Kakamega forest.

Led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sarah Shibutse, the agency says the move is in response to the global call for action to halt and reverse adverse effects of environmental degradation.

“As an agency, we want to help in the afforestation of the country. We have started in Kakamega but we have earmarked other places to conduct a similar exercise like Ngong and Karura forests respectively,” said Shibutse

“We came here to plant trees in accordance with the presidential directive. We have been given a deliverable that every person should plant at least 30 trees within this financial year at the agency,” said Ms Shibutse

ADAK team with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officials during a tree planting exercise at Kakamega forest – Photo/Isaac Mutiso

She said ‘we are collaborating with the Kenya Forest Services to meet the set targets’, saying ‘we want to help the president achieve his goal’

President William Ruto launched a campaign to plant at least 15 billion trees by 2032 in order to increase the forest cover and in turn, realise forest restoration and tackle effects of climate change.

“As an agency, we want to help in the afforestation of the country. We have started in Kakamega but we have earmarked other places to conduct a similar exercise like Ngong and Karura forests respectively,” said Shibutse

She added: “By reducing greenhouse emissions and stopping deforestation, we shall have a safe country to live in. All that is needed is for every Kenyan to play his role as per the president’s directive,”

ADAK Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sarah Shibutse – Photo/Isaac Mutiso

The first phase which running up to 2027, will see about five billion trees, while the second phase (2027-2023) will focus on planting an extra 10 billion trees to meet the set targets,”

Against the backdrop, Shibutse said that the country was on the right trajectory in fighting the doping menace.

Already, Generali Milano Marathon 2021 champion Titus Ekiru is the latest Kenyan to be banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and handed a 10-year ban, thanks to doping.

The marathoner tested positive twice for the Presence of Prohibited Substances, or their metabolites or markers, in his in-competition urine samples at marathons which he won in 2021.

Mr Fred Ashiona, the Western region Deputy Forest Conservator said that ‘our main effort is to mitigate climate change mitigation’, adding ‘we are taking advantage of El Nino rains in pushing for the restoration of Kakamega forest.

Team ADAK with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officials

Mr Ashiona said  ‘Kakamega is a natural forest’ but due to human activities, some of the major species were depleted, saying that they have welcomed different partners on board including ADAK in a bid to plant ‘more of rightful species’  that will restore the forest  diversity.

Currently, Kakamega has 10 per cent forest cover, Vihiga (34) and Busia has a paltry 5 per cent of its land under forest cover.

James Gichihia, Kakamega Forest station manager said that the forest covers about 14,810 hectares.

Aggrey Mwambili, Community Forest Association (CFA) board member, welcomed the tree planting initiative by ADAK, saying ‘it was a step in the right direction’.

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