Lamu residents help plant trees in honour of Dedan Kimathi's grandson
Before his death in Lamu last month, freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi’s grandson Teddy Mukaria Githinji had planned to have at least 30,000 tree seedlings planted to mark his 25th birthday.
The initiative was also part of the push to attain 10 per cent forest cover by this year in national efforts to address climate change.
But Mr Githinji’s dream was cut short following his sudden death on the night of May 18 at Mpeketoni Sub-County Hospital, where he had been rushed after falling sick.
Before his death, he had spent the fateful day planting over 10,000 seedlings with friends in Witu and Mpeketoni.
He was the only son of Kimathi’s daughter, Evelyn Wanjugu Kimathi, the CEO of the Dedan Kimathi Foundation.
To fulfill the late Githinji’s dream, the foundation has returned to Lamu and launched a tree-planting mission project called “1 million trees for Teddy” to honour her son's conservation efforts.
The campaign has already seen at least 30,000 seedlings planted at Coast Arid Secondary School and other areas in Witu division.
Those who took part in the initiative, including local administrators and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officials, urged the public to support the campaign.
“We are carrying out this exercise with the help of other partners so that we can increase tree and forest cover,” Ms Wanjugu said.
“So far, the foundation has [through the help of volunteers] planted 1.5 million seedlings in schools, chief's camps, police stations, churches and water catchment areas. This is part of the 30 million trees the foundation has targeted to plant within two years.”
Witu Forest Manager Kadenge Mwathethe commended the foundation for supporting partners of KFS, noting that the planting of the 30,000 tree seedlings would take them close to the target set for the Lamu station.
Ms Jedidah Wanyeki of the Greens of Africa Foundation urged the public to embrace environmental conservation for a safer future.
According to the newly released 2021 National Forest Resources Assessment Report, Kenya’s forest cover now stands at 8.83 per cent, up from 5.99 per cent in 2018.
The report singles out Lamu as one of the counties that recorded the highest percentage of forest cover.
Others are Nyeri and Kilifi.
Samburu showed the most improvement as an arid county, in seventh place with 23.29 per cent cover.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is pushing for the attainment of 10 per cent forest cover by this year.