Nation, Family Bank join hands to plant 2,000 trees

Stephen Gitagama

From left: Green Blue Foundation Africa President Bedan Mbugua, Family Group Foundation Executive Director John Waimiri, Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama and Kenya Forest Services Inspector Wachira Gatuiria in Ngong Hills on November 13, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Nation Media Group (NMG) and Family Bank Foundation teams yesterday braved the freezing cold morning weather and a light drizzle to plant trees in Ngong Hills in Kajiado County.

Heeding the government’s call, NMG Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gitagama led his team in planting trees on a 10-acre plot in the Kona Baridi area.

Mr Gitagama lauded the step taken by the government of President William Ruto in setting a specific day for growing trees, saying that it was an encouraging way of tackling climate change.

“Climate change is the worst catastrophe of our time, and the question is, what are you doing to counter this worst catastrophe? All you need to do is to grow trees,” Mr Gitagama said.

He also said that the media house is leading in climate change action through several programmes that it has rolled out to inform citizens.

“At NMG we are committed to mitigating climate change. We have a number of initiatives that we undertake on climate change, including seminars. In two or three weeks, we will have the Earth Wise Summit, which will be held at the Nairobi National Park,” he added.

Family Bank Foundation Executive Director John Waimiri said that there was no perfect time to plant trees in large numbers than the holiday that the government announced. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki gazetted November 13 as a holiday for Kenyans to engage in tree planting.

Mr Waimiri said that the Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) has given Family Bank a total of 240 acres for the purpose of tree growing, and they are planting the trees in phases.

“We keep planting in parcels of 10 acres, so the first 10 acres we partnered in March last year with NMG and that is what we are doing in the field today,” Mr Waimiri said.

A short distance away, Attorney-General Justin Muturi led his office in planting trees on a portion of land that is being managed by the Office of The President.

More mobilisation

Environmentalist Bedan Mbugua, who is the President of Green Blue Foundation Africa, said that the government should do more mobilisation if it wants to achieve its target of growing 15 billion trees in a decade.

“Before it happens it needs to be preceded by very good organisation and mobilisation, with targets being given to schools, KFS and every NGO (non-governmental organisation) ... we think it can be done properly,” Mr Mbugua said.

Ruth Nasieku, a university student was among the young people who embraced the tree growing call.

Next generation

“This is the last generation that can do something about the climate change and if we don’t unite and do something about it the next generation will suffer ... we cannot survive without nature, we depend on it for so many things and there is need for everyone to take of it,” Ms Nasieku said.

Awareness created through the media has been identified as a pivotal tool in tackling climate change by highlighting its impacts.