Last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki declared today a public holiday for a national tree-planting exercise.
From many perspectives, the exercise is extremely crucial, owing to the benefits of afforestation. President William Ruto promised that Kenya would plant 15 billion trees in the next decade but, in a statement,, Environment CS Soipan Tuya said only 100 million seedlings have been reported as planted. She added that another 100 million seedlings would be planted today.
Coincidentally, in my locality, we’ve formed a CBO and part of our agenda is tree planting on roadsides. We have already engaged KeNHA and Kenya Forest Service, who advised us on the most suitable tree species, in this case, Thika Palm.
Our biggest challenge, and I believe it’s across the country, is seedlings. The concerned authorities should hasten the supply of seedlings for I’m sure most Kenyans, through community-based organisations and groups, are willing to get involved in today’s event and beyond.
- Lincoln Kinyua, Kiambu
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Today’s National Tree Planting Day is essential, owing to the onset of the rainy season, but the timing is not right.
Tree planting should be conducted during the school term as students are more receptive to volunteering. Schools are excellent places for promotion of tree planting and preservation of the environment.
Student enthusiasm, when aligned with initiatives, can translate to lasting impact. It is more difficult to mobilise adults.
Back in my high school days, every Founder’s Day we used to take part in tree planting exercises. With each of the 1,600 students planting a tree or two, it was an incredible effort.
Today’s public holiday only offers a much-needed break for Kenyans. It’s essential to explore opportunities for more effective tree planting campaigns.
- Stephen Nyangugi, Nairobi