Kenya: President Dr William Ruto, yesterday at the Ngong Hills Forest in Kajiado County, officially launched the National Tree Growing Restoration Campaign, a campaign that rolls out the government’s plan targeting to achieve 30% national tree cover from the current 12.13% by 2032.
A total of 560,000 trees were planted yesterday across the country as the launch was held concurrently in other counties led by the Cabinet and Principal Secretaries.
During the official launch, the Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr Julius Kamau EBS, demonstrated the process of tree planting and supervised the planting of 5,600 seedlings.
To ensure tree growing through the bottom-up approach, the President had earlier directed the Ministry of Interior and Administration of National Government to ensure that all Chiefs and their assistants mobilize the public from their respective jurisdictions through ‘Nyumba Kumi’ to actively engage in tree growing.
The President, in his address, stated that the government’s commitment to achieving a cleaner and safer environment is going to be actualized through the intentional placement of environmental conservation and landscape restoration at the centre of the country’s socioeconomic transformation agenda.
He further invited Kenyans to note the collective obligation under the constitution to cooperate with state organs to conserve the environment and ensure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources.
“We have committed to restore 5.1 million hectares of the deforested and degraded landscape under the African Landscape Restoration Initiative,” he added.
“Planting a tree is the first and most critical step in the journey of ecological restoration and should be the most urgent task for each of us and treated as a project of high importance during the rainy seasons and during our everyday lives,” the President urged.
Over the next ten years, 320,000 direct jobs will be created in seedling production, tree planting & maintenance, forest rangers & foresters, community scouts and maintenance of forest roads for a greener Kenya.
The President was accompanied to the function by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Mama Rachel Ruto and Ministry of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya.
The function was also attended by the Governor of Kajiado County, Joseph Ole Lenku, Government officers, elected leaders and development partner representatives.