Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru, on Wednesday marked President Ruto’s 56th birthday by launching a six million trees initiative in Kirinyaga.
The tree planting exercise is part of the county’s contribution towards the president’s five billion trees target set to be achieved in the next five years. The ambitious program is aimed at mitigating against climate change by improving the country’s forest and tree cover.
While planting trees along Kagio-Sagana highway, Governor Waiguru who is also the Council of Governor’s Chair, said that the county is mobilizing its residents to plant trees in their farms, in the forests, in the riparian land as well as public institutions.
“We wish a very happy birthday to the President and assure him that we are supporting his call for planting of trees, and today being his birthday we have planted 1,000 trees as we launch our county’s six million trees bid.”, said the governor.
She said that the adverse effects of climate change have continued being felt and Kirinyaga is not an exemption. “We are all aware that climate change continues to affect our daily lives through its adverse effects such as drought, floods and pests and strange diseases. Closer home, we have seen the weather patterns change, we have seen water levels in rivers such as Nyamindi significantly drop” she said.
She said that the initiative aims at increasing tree cover from the current 30% to 40% and the forest cover from 23% to 30% in the next five years.
Waiguru, who is one of the governors who have been very instrumental in advocating for climate action led other governors to the COP27 held in Egypt last month. At the forum, the governor joined other leaders in making commitments towards climate action as well as advocating for climate financing.
Due to her relentless campaigns for climate change actions, Waiguru was a week ago appointed by President Ruto to the National Climate Change Council. The council is expected to leverage the country’s resources and expertise in support of the whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis. It will also approve the revised and updated National Climate Change Acton Plan and advise the governments on policies and laws necessary for climate change response and attaining low carbon climate change resilience development.
Waiguru has been spearheading the implementation of multifaceted climate smart in agriculture in her county. Through Wezesha Kirinyaga program, she has supported over 50,000 farmers to diversify their agricultural activities with the aim of increasing production and productivity thus increasing their income streams. This initiative has reduced overdependence on rain-fed agriculture and the conventional cash farming.
At COG, the governor has been agitating for additional funding to enable counties implement programs and projects that are geared towards creating resilience and adaptation among the communities.