Kenya Cup champions Kabras Sugar have extended their environmental conservation programme to learning schools following a successful tree growing exercise at the Kakamega forest on Tuesday.
Kabras Sugar hammered KCB 19-9 three weeks ago to win their third Kenya Cup title at the Kakamega Showground, their home ground located in within the Kakamega Forest.
Led by their captain George Nyambua, the team will plant tress today (Thursday) in; Malava Polytechnic, Malava Boys, Malava Girls, Mwiyala primary and Lurambi.
On Friday, the exercise will continue at Shitaho Polytechnic, Kakamega High school, Kakamega Primary, St Peter’s Mumias High school and Koyonzo Boys.
The club had before the end of the 2022-23 season pledged to plant trees ten times the number of points they would have earned in the entire Kenya Cup campaign.
“Our objective is to make the environment better and the best way to achieve that is by planting trees and that is exactly what we are doing as Kabras Sugar RFC,” said Nyambua.
Nyambua further said planting trees in Kakamega Forest was one way of appreciating the good atmosphere players get during training session and when playing against their opponents “in the forest”.
“It is a continuation of something we started 10 years ago. Our home ground is in the forest and ever cool, we have to ensure that coolness continues by planting indigenous trees,” said Nyambua.
His sentiments were echoed by Club’s Assistant Coach Edwin Achayo who said that they will continue participating in conservation of Kakamega forest which has been under attack by locals through cutting of trees for charcoal burning.
“We are appreciating the beautiful environment we enjoy as a club and our fans by planting trees within the forest. Whatever we are doing is posterity,” said Achayo.
During World International Day of Forests, the newly crowned Kenya Cup Champions planted at least 3,000 trees with target being to plant 5,050 tree seedlings.
George Muruli, Rai Group's External Affairs and Communication Head said the climate crisis was real and that it had even affected sporting activities, another reason the club decided to act to curb its consequences.
“Back in the days things like water breaks were unheard of but look in August last year water breaks where players stop the match to take water were made compulsory in the Premier League because of global warming. This shows that sports is not immune from the effects of climate change and as sportsmen we have to act to avert the climate crisis by doing this exercise,” he said.
“Like other global players in sporting venture, we are acting now by planting trees so that we don't get to a situation where we cannot hold sports because of severe global warming.”
County Forest Conservator Maurice Wanyiri said there was need for the locals to plant trees with a view to increasing forest cover in Kakamega county.
Currently the forest cover is at 10 percent. He further disclosed Kakamega forest which is the only tropical rainforest in Kenya was under pressure from human beings.
“Kakamega forest is very unique in the sense that it has many species that are only found in Kenya and some wildlife. But is currently under pressure,” said Wanyiri.
He continued,” We are encouraging people to take advantage of the ongoing rains and grown trees. They can walk in our nurseries and source for seedlings which are always available.”