40 students receive sponsorship courtesy of tree planting initiative

Kaptagat Girls Secondary School. [Courtesy]

Forty students have landed academic sponsorship from a tree-planting initiative targeting secondary school students.

Kaptagat Girls Secondary School in Elgeyo Marakwet established a tree nursery that produces nearly 10,000 tree seedlings annually, whose proceeds go towards sponsorship of needy students at the institution.

On Saturday, the school located near Kaptagat forest, hosted Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) and Global Peace during a tree planting drive in partnership with Chandaria Foundation, Standard Group Plc and Ministry of Health.

The school's principal Florence Natembeya said the 40 students will be sponsored through the climate mitigation initiative.

“Out of the partnership, we will be paying fees for 40 students. Beneficiaries have been in and out of school due to fee challenges but from now, they will stay in school until they complete their studies,” Natembeya said.

Under the climate change mitigation initiative, the organisations procured tree seedlings from the school.

The principal said the school will ensure that the trees grow to boost the forest cover and mitigate climate change effects.

The principal said each student will adopt some trees and nurture them.

“As a school, we have a target of producing 10,000 seedlings every year and we want to plant at least 52,000 trees within and outside the institution in the next three years,” she said.

KUTRRH Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Dagane lauded the initiative, saying it inculcates tree planting culture among learners.

Dagane said the referral facility will plant 51,000 trees in Kipkabus forest, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

“Trees are in our food chain. We are happy that tree planting is becoming part of our culture,” he said.

“We planted 1,200 trees out of the targeted 11,000, the remaining will be planted in coming weeks. We will be coming to ensure the 51,000 trees are growing,” he added.

KUTRRH board chair Olive Mugenda said the programme bolsters efforts by the Ministry of Health, which was charged with spearheading the government’s 15 billion trees initiative.

“We bought tree seedlings from the school. Children should be involved in the Presidential climate change mitigation directive,” Prof Mugenda said.

She noted that under the programme, school children are taught how to craft fruit seedlings.

“The initiative is a training ground for learners to establish tree nurseries and nurture trees. We want partnerships that can help our children and grow the nation,” she said.

The board chair said the project was extended to Nabkoi and Kapkenda Girls High Schools.

Global Peace Manager in charge of environment, Japheth Ouda said the trees will ensure the region receives adequate rainfall and minimise conflict over critical resources.

“We want to intentionally allow our young people to take part in climate change mitigation because they are the major stakeholders. If they are not involved, then we have a challenge,” he said.

He explained that through innovation and the production of seedlings, youth can create employment opportunities in climate change mitigation initiatives.

By AFP 54 mins ago
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