How Kakamega residents responded to national call to tree planting

Kakamega County Governor Fernandes Barasa and Ummi Bashir, PS for Culture, the Arts & Heritage, being briefed on the various indigenous trees available for planting at Kakamega County. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno, Scholar Media Africa.
  • CS Kindiki had declared November 13 a public holiday for all Kenyans to participate in nationwide tree planting. 
  • Trees are necessary for human, animal, and environmental survival. 
  • Participating in tree planting activities contributes to global reforestation by restoring lost forests, rehabilitating damaged ecosystems, and reducing climate change.

Residents of Kakamega County, led by the county government, responded to the call for tree planting by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Administration of National Government, Prof. Kithure Kindiki. 

The citizens were committed to the auspicious event conducted in Murhanda Primary School, Shinyalu Constituency, on November 13, 2023.

CS Kindiki had declared the day a public holiday for all Kenyans to participate in nationwide tree planting. 

He said that the exercise is part of Kenya’s landscape and ecosystem restoration program towards growing 15 billion trees – to combat recurring droughts and the effects of climate change. 

The initiative aims to reduce greenhouse emissions, stop deforestation, and rehabilitate and restore 10.6 million hectares of land. 

The plan involves growing 5 billion trees in five years and an additional 10 million by 2032. 

President William Ruto called on counties and regions to distribute tree seedlings for planting along escarpment areas to curb landslides and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.  

In a world where environmental issues are being addressed, reforestation is a potent solution with many advantages. 

We can achieve many advantageous outcomes by replenishing regions cleared of trees or never forested. 

Essential to our survival

By collecting and sequestrating carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere, trees contribute to the fight against global warming. 

As they lose moisture and reflect heat upward from their leaves, they also lessen wind speeds and chill the air. 

They aid in halting soil erosion and flooding. Due to their ability to capture and retain dust and other airborne contaminants, trees contribute to better air quality. 

Officials from Water Resource Authority Kakamega taking part in the tree planting event. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno, Scholar Media Africa.

Additionally, trees’ shadows provide a helpful shield against the sun’s dangerous UV rays.

They also control climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain and wind. Trees also lower the air temperature and reduce the heat intensity of the greenhouse effect by maintaining low carbon dioxide levels. 

From combating climate change to fostering biodiversity, reforestation is key to healthier and thriving communities.

Controlling environmental degradation

The environment is a vital human resource, providing us with essential sustenance. 

Humans have a significant impact on the ecosystem, as their activities affect the environment and the organisms living within it. 

Environmental degradation is a phenomenon that is caused by a variety of factors, such as global warming, deforestation, pollution, industrialization, and greenhouse gases. 

This is a serious issue that must be addressed, as it can destroy the environment. The effects of environmental degradation include the loss of biodiversity, climate change, and natural disasters.

Planting trees for our future

Trees are necessary for human, animal, and environmental survival. 

Some of the 2800 tree seedlings donated by Welthungerhilfe Organization to be planted in Murhanda Primary School. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno, Scholar Media Africa.

It is critical to restore forest cover through tree-planting initiatives.

Participating in tree planting activities contributes to global reforestation by restoring lost forests, rehabilitating damaged ecosystems, and reducing climate change.

Community and social value

Trees are a significant piece of every local area. 

Our roads, parks, jungle gyms, and terraces are fixed with trees that make a quiet, tastefully satisfying climate. 

Numerous areas are likewise the home of exceptionally old trees that act as memorable milestones and an incredible wellspring of pride.

Soil protection and restoration

Solid soil is the foundation for practical farming and flourishing biological systems. Reforestation protects and reestablishes soil by preventing disintegration and working on its making process. 

Trees’ broad root foundations tie the dirt together, lowering the risk of landslides and soil debasement.

Welthungerhilfe, an organization for development cooperation and humanitarian aid, is implementing a sustainable land managing program and in this, we are working with farmers in Kakamega to improve their soil health and generally the ecosystem,” said George Otieno, County Coordinator for Welthungerhilfe, Kakamega.

He adds that under the project, they are engaging farmers in promoting agroforestry. 

That day

During the tree-planting exercise, “Welthungerhilfe has donated 2,800 tree seedlings that will be distributed to farmers within this area,” said Otieno.

“As Kakamega County we’ve got our own target of planting 5 million trees this year, and today we’ve instituted strategies that would enable us plant 500,000 indigenous trees,” explained Fernandes Barasa, Governor Kakamega County.

“Both the county and the national government have to work together in order to ensure the project is a success,” noted Ummi Bashir, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Culture, the Arts & Heritage.

PS Bashir planting a tree. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno, Scholar Media Africa.

Masinde University of Science and Technology, too, wasn’t left behind. 

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, led MMUST officials to the venue designated for tree planting to also be part and parcel of the move established to help combat climate change and foster biodiversity and reforestation. 

Several MMUST clubs and associations sent their officials to represent Masinde Muliro University: David Omurai, Chairman of Disaster Environment Management Association; 

Masoud Chris, Chapter Coordinator, Youths for Green Action Kenya; Armstrong Ayanga, Kenya Red Cross Society MMUST Chapter and Brian Simiyu, Peace Ambassadors Kenya MMUST Chapter.

Representatives of the MMUST Clubs and Associations pose for a group photo after the tree planting exercise at Murhanda Primary School, Kakamega County. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno, Scholar Media Africa.

Planting trees has proven social and economic benefits. Trees not only benefit the environment, but they help build stronger communities and economic growth. 

YOU MAY ALSO READ: Why diversity and continuity are key in tree planting

Communities should make well-informed choices to invest in greening programs by realizing the multifaceted advantages of tree planting. Governments, organizations, and individuals play a part in growing and caring for trees, ensuring a sustainable future for future generations. 

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Mr. Otieno is a finalist student at Masinde Muliro University pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Pure Chemistry. He is passionate about writing on pertinent issues in the society. His Contact:



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