A special holiday has been allocated for Kenyans to plant 100 million trees, contributing to the government’s aim of planting 15 billion trees within a decade.
According to Environment Minister Soipan Tuya, the holiday empowers “every Kenyan to take ownership of the initiative.
Encouragement is given for every Kenyan to plant a minimum of two seedlings, contributing to the achievement of the 100-million target.
The purpose of the initiative is to combat climate change.
Trees aid in addressing global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and simultaneously releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
Approximately 150 million seedlings are being made accessible in public nurseries by the government.
The government is distributing the seedlings at no cost in its forest agency centers, encouraging Kenyans to plant them in designated public areas.
Additionally, the government has urged Kenyans to purchase a minimum of two seedlings for planting on their private land.
President William Ruto spearheaded the initiative in the eastern part of the country, while cabinet ministers were dispatched to lead the process in various regions, collaborating with county governors and other officials.
Near the origin of Kenya’s second-longest river, the Athi, a site witnessed the presence of numerous individuals, including soldiers, residents, and some with their families.
Student Wycliffe Kamau expressed, “I’ve gathered with my colleagues, and I’m delighted to be here, demonstrating my love for the environment,” in an interview with the BBC.
Local resident Stephen Chelulei stated, “I’ve come to plant trees here because our water levels have been declining. Even at the source of the river, the levels are very low, and trees have been cleared.
It’s essential to reverse climate change so that our children have a habitable environment when we are no longer present.
Nevertheless, a considerable number of individuals, particularly in urban areas, are unlikely to participate and may simply view it as an additional holiday opportunity.
The tree-planting efforts will be tracked via an internet app, enabling individuals and organizations to document activities such as plant species, quantity, and planting dates.
According to the environment ministry, the Jaza Miti app will assist people in planting suitable seedlings by matching the site with the appropriate species.
Ms. Tuya reported on Sunday night to local Citizen TV that the response had been “remarkable,” with the app already receiving two million registrations by that day.
She mentioned that tree planting would not take place in the northeastern region due to ongoing floods.
The nation is currently dealing with substantial El Niño rains, resulting in the loss of numerous lives, displacement of thousands, and damage to infrastructure—particularly impacting the northern region.
The tree-planting initiative in Kenya has been widely embraced, though some challenges have been acknowledged by the public.
Environmental advocate Teresa Muthoni informed the BBC that while the initiative was a “very good idea,” the execution lacked organization to ensure universal participation in tree planting.
She mentioned, “Many individuals have to persist with their jobs to provide for their families… it is happening during a period when our economy is underperforming, causing financial struggles for many.