First Lady Rachael Ruto plants a tree at Kaptagat Forest in the borders of Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties on June 9, 2023. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

First Lady Rachael Ruto continued her environmental conservation initiative dubbed “Mama Doing Good”.

On Friday Mrs Ruto urged women to shun wood fuel and adopt cooking gas to save the dwindling forest cover.

“We have experienced the worst drought in 40 years, and we lost lives, livestock and wildlife. We will not have to distribute food again,” she said.

She said the ravaging droughts witnessed in arid and semi-arid areas were a result of deforestation and asked Kenyans to embrace President William Ruto’s tree-growing restoration campaign targeting to plant 15 billion trees in ten years.

She launched the initiative in Kitany, Elgeyo Marakwet and said her campaign aims to grow 600 million trees of the 15 billion target.

She also rallied partners comprising The Nature Conservancy, Eldowas, and Eldoret Iten Water Fund among other as she seeks to rehabilitate forests, while encouraging fruit growing.

“Many of us cook with firewood and charcoal, meaning trees are cut down for us to prepare food. Let us turn to gas and green energy to save our forests,” she told stakeholders.

Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Rep Caroline Ng’elechei said the biggest beneficiary will be women. “Just like what the First Lady is doing, leaders have a responsibility to preserve our environment,” she added.

Forest cover

Mr David Chege, acting Commandant KFS, said the partnership will ensure the country attains 30 per cent forest cover target by 2032.

Present were Fiona Rotich, wife to Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wesley Rotich, and Selina Bii, wife to Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii.

Deputy Governor Grace Cheserek (Elgeyo Marakwet) and John Barorot (Uasin Gishu) were also present.

“Community forests associations across the country will be empowered through “Mama Doing Good Initiative,” said Mrs Ruto. 

She later joined worshippers at the AIC Kaptarakwa Church before touring Iten town.

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