Climate Action plan gains pace ahead of Eldoret City Marathon

 

Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago lines up with athletes before they participated in the 41 kilometers race during Eldoret City Marathon in Eldoret last year. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

It is exactly one month to another exciting battle for honours at the fourth edition of Eldoret City Marathon and preparations are in top gear.

Apart from the rich prize purse of Sh18 million, with Sh3.5 million of which going to the winners in both the men and the women’s category, a meticulous environmental plan that is in line with the marathon’s Climate Action theme is gathering pace.

The Climate Action initiative encompasses massive tree planting in Eldoret and many areas of Uasin Gishu County ahead of the Sunday April 10 race, in a climate change mitigation strategy.

Traditionally, thousands of trees are planted in areas where a number of athletes train everyday across Uasin Gishu. They include areas such as Kapseret forest and in schools where young talents are nurtured.

According to race organisers, just like last year, a massive tree planting will take place a day to the marathon.

This year, according to the Local Organising Committee, the Climate Action initiative, will be on a bigger scale.

Uasin Gishu County’s department of environment in collaboration with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) are running the Climate Action drive.

Race chairman Andrew Chelogoi said the LOC is mobilising adequate tree seedlings and is considering offering the huge number of athletics enthusiasts expected in Eldoret on April 10, tree seedlings for planting after the race.

“We are proposing to the Climate Action committee to consider offering the spectators tree seedlings for planting in their farms after the race. We want to make tree planting bigger and bigger each year,” Chelogoi said.

Uasin Gishu Sports Executive Joseph Kurgat said: “This year, we are targeting as many seedlings as possible. This is a sporting county and locals will be encouraged to follow and own the race.”

North Rift Kenya Forest Service ecosystem conservator Anthony Musyoka who is also a member of the LOC reported that at least 60 schools identified for the Climate Action initiative will each be allocated 650 seedlings to plant.

“Exotic and indigenous trees will be planted in the selected areas and schools. KFS will provide 10,000 seedlings, 5000 of which are indigenous and the other 5,000 are exotic,” Musyoka said. He urged sponsors to donate more seedlings for the programme.

The LOC’s health committee said Eldoret-based hospitals will deploy health workers and ambulances, to respond to emergencies during the race.

 

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