Equity Group kick starts a 35 million trees planting campaign

Written By: Beth Nyaga
212

From right to left: Equity Bank Kenya Chairman Prof. Isaac Muthure Macharia, Deputy Chief conservator of Forests, Equity Bank Kenya Managing Director Gerald Warui and Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi during a tree planting ceremony held to mark Equity’s 35th Anniversary at Miotoni Block in Ngong Forest.
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Equity Group has announced plans to implement an ambitious project to plant 35 million trees across the country within a year.

In an effort to conserve the environment, Equity has partnered with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to promote Farm Forestry Initiatives.

The initiative is aligned to Kenya’s Big Four Agenda on Food Security and Youth Employment.

A majority of the trees planted will be fruit and medicinal trees of commercial value. The project will also empower youth who will be tasked with raising high-quality tree seedlings in nurseries as an income-generating activity.

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KFS will provide technical support including; the Identification of hotspots that require urgent tree cover and/or rehabilitation of degraded forests; mapping out agro-ecological zones and identification of suitable tree species for planting; identification of high-quality tree seedlings stocks across the country; and support by KFS officers and staff at local levels to supervise the proper planting and maintenance of the trees.

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The announcement was made on the Bank’s 35th Anniversary and comes on the backdrop of a brand refresh that saw the financial institution reveal a new identity.

Led by the Group CEO and Managing Director, Dr James Mwangi, Equity kick-started the project by planting 3,500 indigenous tree seedlings in Miotoni Forest Block which is part of the Ngong Forest Complex.

Through the Presidency, the Kenyan government has declared its intention to plant 2 billion trees within the next three years in a bid to increase the country’s contribution towards addressing climate change.

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It is also an opportunity to engage the youth population in environmental conservation as well provide an opportunity to earn an income through tree planting and maintenance activities.

“The 35 million trees we intend to plant will represent 1 million trees for each year since we began operations in Kenya,” said Dr Mwangi.

Equity supports the transition to clean energy that reduces reliance on wood fuel, charcoal and fossils fuels like kerosene as a source of energy.

This has a direct impact on health outcomes through a reduction in household air pollution, positive impact on the environment, reduction in carbon footprint and climate change mitigation.

To date over 100,000 clean energy products has been financed and distributed, benefitting over 300,000 individuals.

To reach a larger scale and create more impact, the Bank also created the world’s first energy loan dubbed Eco- Moto Loan available digitally via mobile network, Equitel. This has supported the SDG 7 of access to clean and affordable energy for all.

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Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi, Ngong Road Community Forest Association Chairman Simon Woods, Equity Bank Kenya Chairman, Prof. Isaac Muthure Macharia, and Chairman of the Kenya Forest Service Board Peter Kinyua, during tree planting ceremony held to mark Equity’s 35th Anniversary at Miotoni Block in Ngong Forest

Equity has other initiatives in the Energy and Environment space ongoing that have seen it plant more than 1 million trees in the Mau Water Tower.

According to scientists, planting trees is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis.

It is also fundamental to the survival of forest-dwellers, and are important providers of ecosystem services, including maintaining, restoring soil fertility, protecting watersheds and watercourses.

“There is an opportunity for us as a Group to scale-up the footprint of our contribution in greening the environment, supporting transitions to clean energy and increasing fruit productivity. It is in this regard that we propose unlocking our infrastructure to leverage on ongoing and proposed government initiatives,” noted Dr Mwangi.

 

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