Foundation lauds Monday's tree-growing drive

Green Africa Foundation chairman Isaac Kalua addresses the press on Monday's tree planting holiday announced by the government in Nairobi on November 8, 2023. [Courtesy]

Green Africa Foundation has lauded the government for setting aside next Monday as a tree planting holiday and urged Kenyans to embrace tree growing.

The foundation also donated 3,000 tree seedlings to be among trees planted on November 13. The foundation chairperson Isaac Kalua Green said this will be their contribution towards greening the nation.

“We have already prepared one metre by one metre holes which is a process that has been done for the last three months. We are working on about 3,000 trees," he said on Wednesday during a press conference in Nairobi.

He said the foundation has designated land at Nduu Ndune village in Kyusyani location, Kitui County, with professionally prepared holes ready for tree planting and growing.

He also urged Kenyans to monitor the growing of the planted trees to ensure they don’t dry up. “The grim reality is that over 90 per cent of our planted trees since Kenya’s independence never mature. They are symbols of hope that falter and fade, not due to fate, but neglect," he said.

But with proper care, he said the trees should mature and help the fight against climate change and restore soils. "Each seedling, tender and green, carries the breath of life for our future as they manufacture oxygen and therefore it is our duty to ensure they thrive,” he said.

Dr Kalua noted that forests stand at the  crossroads of survival and decline due to strain by human encroachment and an underfunded custodianship. He attributed this to underfunding of the Kenya Forest Service.

“Accountability must be our binding promise, ensuring that our endeavours in greening Kenya are as pure and unwavering as the noble trees we plant,” he said.

He urged all Kenyans to embrace the government's initiative of growing 15 billion trees using the existing "Plant Your Age Initiative".

“The initiative is not just about planting trees, it is about growing ideas, ideals and inspirations. It is about fostering a culture where environmental stewardship is as personal as your name, as integral as your heartbeat,” he added.