Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has announced a Government plan to distribute tree seedlings through chiefs in an effort to accelerate tree growing activities across the country.
“The (tree growing) targets we have set touch on each and every individual Kenyan. We have set targets on the number of trees that each Kenyan is expected to grow.
“We will ensure that seedlings are accessible starting at the chief’s level so that any Kenyan can walk to a chief’s office to collect seedlings to grow in their farms,” Tuya announced.
The Cabinet Secretary spoke on Monday morning at Ngong Road-Southern Bypass Interchange road reserve where she led Ministry of Environment, Climate and Forestry, and Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHA) staff in a rapid tree growing exercise.
The 15 billion national tree growing and ecosystem restoration programme strategy identifies road reserves and wayleaves as potential sites for planting trees in an intervention christened, ‘greening infrastructure’.
Tuya reiterated her Ministry’s commitment to ensure that 30 percent of the 15 billion trees the country aims to grow in 10 years will be fruit species to serve Kenya’s economic and food security needs.
“Of the 15 billion trees we intend to grow in 10 years, 30 percent will be fruit trees so as to ensure that tree growing contributes to the economy and Kenya’s food security,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
Once again, Tuya said the Ministry was using the ‘whole-of-Government, whole-of-society’ approach, where every Kenyan has a role to play in the implementation of the 15 billion national tree growing initiative.
“Everywhere we go, we will be hosted by the area chief and forest managers at all levels, in an all-Government approach. Our role as a Ministry is to coordinate; the actual tree growing will be done by wananchi and partners at all levels,” CS Tuya underscored.
On the impending onset of short rains season, the Cabinet Secretary expressed confidence that the country will soon experience rainfall, and urged Kenyans to intensify tree growing over the 3 months.
To enable the Government to keep track of the 15 billion trees initiative, Tuya advised tree growers to record their activities on the Ministry’s Jaza Miti digital application.
CS Tuya, who earlier received a donation of 450,000 seedlings from the Standard Chartered Bank and the Nairobi Arboretum Community Forest Association, thanked Kenya National Highways Authority and other state and non-state actors including the private sector that had taken up tree growing as a core business activity.
Forestry Principal Secretary Gitonga Mugambi also spoke at the tree growing event that was attended by several senior Goverment officials among them Ag Director General of Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Dr Jane Njuguna and Secretary for Administration in the State Department Evans Mutari.