NMG partners with Machakos County to plant 10,000 trees

NMG tree planting

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko (left) and Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama (3rd left) join other guests in planting trees on June 19, 2021. NMG has partnered with the Machakos County government to plant 10,000 trees.

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

The Nation Media Group (NMG) has partnered with the Machakos County government to plant 10,000 trees.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by NMG Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stephen Gitagama, and Machakos County Water, Irrigation, Forestry and Resources Executive Morris Aluanga.

The event was held at the Nation printing plant in Mavoko Sub-County.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keraiko Tobiko was the chief guest at the ceremony.

The guests were received by their host, Mr Peter Sawe, who is also the operations manager at the plant.

Mr Sawe said the earth has been adversely affected by rising temperatures due to climate change, hence the need to protect the environment.

NMG CEO Stephen Gitagama

NMG CEO Stephen Gitagama (3rd left) with KFS officials at the Nation printing plant in Mavoko on June 19, 2021.

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

Protect environment

In his speech, Mr Gitagama said NMG's intention is to protect the environment and improve it by continuous conservation.

"NMG's goal is to grow trees by preserving and improving the environment… and will continue growing more trees," Mr Gitagama said.

He added that the NMG has been at the forefront in planting trees, having done so in the Emburru areas in the Mau Forest and in the Aberdares among others.

Mr Gitagama donated 1,000 tree seedlings to four schools in Mavoko Sub-County.

Tree seedlings for schools

He added that NMG has also partnered with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), which will give another 4,000 seedlings to the schools.

"NMG, in collaboration with Kenya  Forest Service, has provided 5,000 seedlings to Athi River, Mlolongo, Ngwata and St Paul's primary schools, all located in Machakos County," remarked Mr Gitagama.

In addition, he said after signing an agreement with the Machakos County government, NMG will provide 10,000 seedlings to be planted at Maruba dam which supplies water to the county.

However, he said planting of the trees would take one year from June this year to June 2022.

In his speech, Minister Tobiko said politicians strongly opposed him when he announced the eviction of Kenyans who had encroached on land in Mau Forest in 2019.

“Walk to the Mau Forest to see how after planting trees, the Mara River has increased water levels. It is of mutual importance to protect the water towers in the country,” Mr Tobiko said.

Destroyed by humans

He called on Kenyans to protect the environment, adding that 2 billion hectares of land in the world has been destroyed by humans.

He reiterated that every year, 12 million hectares of land are also destroyed by humans after 24 billion tons of soil is carried away by water through erosion.

At the Nation Media Group printing plant, Mr Tobiko and Mr Gitagama led more than 200 workers in planting plant seedlings.

Other guests who attended the event included Dr Kazim Lakhani, a representative of the Aga Khan Development Network and Mr Wycliff Matika, the acting chief executive officer of the Green Belt Movement).

Also present were Prof Mbaabu Mathiu, the chief executive officer of Green Blue Foundation Africa and Mr Olivier Lauvaux, chairman of Lower Eastern Region’s Kenya Association of Manufacturers.