Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation, Alice Wahome, distributed over 10,000 fruit and indigenous trees to the residents of Kandara constituency, urging them to embrace tree planting during the rainy season in order to increase forest cover. Speaking during the launch of a tree planting exercise at Kandara polytechnic, Wahome said that the residents should strive to plant 20 million trees in the constituency over the next five years. She observed that there is great threat to forest cover due to a surge in population which has increased the probability of trees being destroyed leading to desertification noting that tree planting should be embraced by all Kenyans. Wahome asked the public to give priority to fruit trees for food and wood provision. She further explained that it is human activities that lead to destruction of trees and in turn affecting the ecosystem. “We as human beings have gradually destroyed our environment and now we are facing the adverse effects together with our wildlife and marine life,” she said. She stated that Kandara, which has a population of almost 200,000 people, has the potential to plant 20 million trees if every person plants 100 trees over the next five years. She also underscored the need for concerted collaboration efforts and urged stakeholders to join the afforestation cause saying that her ministry will collaborate with the department of forests to plant more trees in the country so as to help President William Ruto achieve five billion trees in five years. The President had in October asked Kenyans to plant 100 trees each over the next five years as part of his climate change mitigation agenda. Meanwhile, Dominic Muriuki, a representative from a local bank which is collaborating with the government, said the objective of the campaign, which is being undertaken in partnership with Kenya Forest Service is to provide a healthy environment for residents. He affirmed that as a bank, they are committed to augmenting the government’s efforts in environmental conservation and climate change mitigation. Muriuki also noted that while more and more Africans are rapidly settling in urban areas, governments and private entities should look into planting more trees in those urban spaces so as to boost efforts on combating climate change. He added that as a bank they are committed to the initiative by the President and are working to plant 35 million seedlings as the bank marks 35 years.

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