Kirinyaga County will plant and grow at least six million trees in five years towards the 15 billion trees initiative.
Speaking when she presided over a tree planting exercise at Thiba Dam to mark the National Tree Growing Day, Governor Anne Waiguru said that the county aims to achieve its goal by the end of her tenure by planting at last 1.5 million trees annually.
She noted that the county has in the last one year planted 1.3 trees with 19,000 trees have been planted today (Monday) through the National Growing Day initiative.
Waiguru termed the tree planting exercise as a noble and well-thought initiative that would lead to the increase of the country’s tree cover.
“When we plant trees, we are not only making our environment beautiful but we are contributing to the well-being of the future generations since trees are an essential part of the ecosystem as they provide humanity with oxygen, food, shelter and medicine,” she said.
The governor urged all the county residents to plant trees and ensure that they nurtured them to maturity by watering, protecting them from pests and diseases and pruning them accordingly.
“Trees are at the core of mitigating the effects of climate change since they are the ultimate carbon storage machines that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. They also help in the reduction of air pollution and land degradation and provide habitats for our wildlife,” noted Governor Waiguru.
She said that her county will be taking advantage of the ongoing rains to plant trees in public spaces such as forests, schools, health facilities, polytechnics, the Sagana Industrial Park, riparian lands and individual farms.
The Council of Governors (COG) chair pointed out that Kirinyaga has not been spared from the adverse impact of climate change, manifesting in extreme weather patterns such as excess rainfall and drought and as such the County Government is implementing a comprehensive Financing Locally-Led Climate Action (FLoCCA) Program that mainstreams climate action and community resilience in development projects and programs.
The governor also urged the county residents to download the Jaza Miti mobile phone application on their smartphones to enable them track and monitor their contribution towards the effort of increasing the forest cover. The app enables one to capture the location, type and number of trees planted.
Waiguru was joined by Joseph Busiega, Chief of Staff, Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, Kirinyaga County Commissioner, Nayioma Tobiko and Kenya Seed Company Limited Board Chair Wangui Ngirici among others.