Nema, Nacada lead tree planting initiative in Nairobi

Makyla Kili and Bella Cheptoo during the national tree planting day at Ngong road forest station. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The Environmental and anti-drug abuse agencies led residents of Nairobi in a tree-planting drive geared towards mitigating climate change.

The exercise was also aimed at and honouring Kenyans who lost their lives to floods in various parts of the country.

The leaders challenged the public to stand in solidarity with the deceased families, those left nursing injuries as well as the displaced people by the raging floods. 

National Environment Management Authority (Nema) Director General Boru Mamo encouraged the public to utilise the opportunity during the holiday to contribute to promoting the green agenda by planting trees. 

"This is in remembrance of 238 Kenyans and thousands who were displaced and several others who were injured. We managed to plant more than 5000 trees and I am delighted to appreciate those who came out to see this a success," he said.

"As we are planting the trees, we are also remembering those who lost their lives during the floods," he added.  

In a gazette notice on Wednesday, the government declared Friday 10, a public holiday as a national tree planting day to help address the devastating impacts of climate change. 

According to the notice, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki set aside to also remember the floods that continue to wreak havoc across the country.

National Authority for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) board chairman, Stephen Mairori, challenged the public to take responsibility in growing the trees to maturity. 

He also acknowledged the efforts of the youth who turned up in large numbers to participate in the exercise. 

Describing the turn-out as special, he said he was "thrilled to see a lot of young people join hands in planting a tree to mitigate the effects of climate change."

"Climate change is real and as a country, if we come together we can address the damage and devastation of climate change that has really affected many families," said Mr Mairori. 

The two agencies were also joined by officials from the National Bank, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Civil Society Organisations and Community Forest Conservationists as well as the private sector. 

Sama Kenya Vice President Annepeace Alwala said their "efforts aim to push support to the public and the government in tree-growing as a long-term solution to the climate crisis and its devastating effects on life and livelihoods."

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) also participated in marking the holiday by planting over 2500 trees seedlings at City Primary and Junior School in Ngara areas, Nairobi County.

The Institute also donated 500 tree seedlings to Aquinas High School in Maringo, Makadara Constituency.

Education Ezekiel Machogu led the tree planting session in Trans Nzoia County to mark the holiday aimed at planting 200 million trees across the country.  

During the exercise, Machogu was accompanied by Trans Nzoia County Governor George Natembeya, KICD Chief Executive Officer, Charles Ong’ondo and County Administrators.