Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has commended the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) for heeding the Government call for religious institutions to actively participate in the 15 billion national tree growing programme that’s aimed at raising Kenya’s tree cover to 30 percent in 10 years.
Speaking during a homily to mark ACK’s Archbishop Dr Jackson Ole Sapit’s 59th birthday, that was commemorated by planting 59 trees, equivalent to the prelate’s new age, CS Tuya particularly applauded ACK for encouraging its faithful to plant trees on special occasions including baptism, birthdays and weddings.
“I am very happy that the Anglican Church has taken it further, not just trees for birthdays, trees for confirmation, trees for baptism, trees for weddings. I am happy,” CS Tuya told the congregation at the church service held at Archbishop Ole Sapit’s official residence in Nairobi.
The ACK, through the Anglican Green Movement, has so far planted two million trees across the church’s dioceses where it is setting up communal forests. Further, the church has adopted degraded acreage in Ngong Forest that it is restoring with the support of Equity Bank.
As part of sustainable ecosystem restoration efforts, the CS said the Government was keen on promoting clean cooking technologies that will reduce over-reliance on biomass as the main source of domestic energy by a majority of Kenyan households.
“We talk about 15 billion trees yet 80 percent of Kenyans still depend on biomass for domestic fuel. We will not be able to achieve the goal without working hard to turn every household in Kenya into clean cooking options,” CS Tuya said.
Once again, the Cabinet Secretary persuaded Kenyans to take tree growing seriously saying ecosystem restoration as a climate mitigation effort was a matter of life and death.
“We can no longer plant trees as a pastime. It is not just a simple act of CSR. It is a life and death undertaking because of the potential of our tree growing to turn around the climate crisis we’re facing,” she said.
Alongside ecosystem restoration, CS Tuya spoke about her Ministry’s other priority areas that include sustainable waste management and climate action, and invited the Anglican Church to partner with the Government in these areas.
“My second big priority is sustainable waste management, and my big priority, offcourse, is climate action that we have to undertake. I want to invite the Anglican Green Movement and Your Grace (Archbishop Ole Sapit), to hold hands,” CS Tuya said.
In his address, Archbishop Ole Sapit assured the Cabinet Secretary of the Anglican Church’s commitment to environmental conservation, and announced plans for ACK to enter into a partnership with Kenya Forest Service and Netfund that will see it participate in reforestation of Mau Forest.
“We’re working on an MoU with Netfund and Kenya Forest Service that will see us (Anglican Church) participate in the restoration of the Mau Forest,” Archbishop Ole Sapit announced.
The sermon at the homily, where CS Tuya presented to the Anglican Church a copy of the recently unveiled tree growing prayer, was delivered by Prof James Kombo, the Vice Chancellor of St Paul’s Unersity.