By David Odhiambo
Through the Jaza Miti presidential campaign, Kenya plans to plant more than 15 billion trees by 2032. The initiative encourages citizens to actively participate in tree growing to meet the 15 billion trees target. This ambitious bid is also an effort to restore Kenya’s degraded forests and increase tree cover from 8.83 per cent to above 10 per cent by 2032 to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Following the declaration of 13th November 2023 as a National Tree Planting Day, President William Ruto was at the Kiu catchment area in Makindu, Makueni County, where the Chyulu Site Support Group and other organizations hosted the national tree growing event. More than 100,000 tree seedlings of different species were planted.
Community members from 26 Site Support Groups (SSGs) for the the following Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) collaborated with relevant County Governments and national government agencies to plant over 155,344 trees to mark the day: Mutitu Hill forest, Lake Elmenteita, South Nandi Forest, Mida Creek, Dunga Swamp, Tana River Delta, North Nandi Forest, Ruma National Park, Sabaki River Estuary, Kakamega Forest, Lake Ol’ Bolossat, Lake Bogoria, Dakatcha Woodland, Mukurwe-ini valley, Kikuyu Escarpment, Kinangop Plateau, Busia grasslands, Mumoni Hill forest, Mt. Kenya Forest, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Yala Swamp and Taita Hills forests.
While celebrating the achievement of the National Tree Planting Day, we need to remember that protecting existing forests is the most important for biodiversity, the climate and our future.