World Environment Day: Kenyans urged to plant trees to tame climate change effects

Mr Benjamin Kasanga, Lukenya University College director, during the World Environmental Day celebrations at the institution on June 5, 2023. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing it in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

Lukenya University College is among the institutions participating in environmental conservation by planting trees with a target of planting one million trees in five years.

The tree planting initiative was launched in March. At least 200, 000 trees are expected to be planted annually under the programme.

The college has so far planted 50,000 trees. The institution has donated 1,000 seedlings to the community.

Communities are trained on how to prepare tree nurseries and how to care for trees, training that is done in partnership with Kenya Forestry Research Institute.

"We are hopeful that the trees planted will grow because the communities have been educated on the importance of trees and how to take care of them," added Mr Mwillu.

Under this year's theme, "Beat Plastic Pollution, Lukenya University College is also sensitising the community on the importance of recycling plastics.

Recycling and reusing

Mr Mulelu reiterated the importance of using, recycling and reusing. He regretted that most people dispose of plastic bottles recklessly, after use, which is causing many environmental problems.

"People are only interested in content that is sold in the plastic bags, and bottles. After that, they dump the plastics in the environment. This is affecting our conservation effort," said Mulele.

He added: "Plastics are harmful as they cause pollution. It is our role to ensure proper disposal and reuse. For example, we can use the bottles to fence our homesteads, among other uses."

In Africa, it is documented that waste is disposed of in dumpsites part of which is burnt in the open, leading to environmental degradation.

Mulili further urged locals to use traditional carriers, commonly referred to as 'chondo' instead of plastic bags.

Pollute environment

According to the deputy governor, there is a need to use plastics in a manner that does not pollute the environment.

"Our mothers used chondos when going to the market. We need to go back to chondos and stop using the plastics to save our environment," said Mulili.

The county government of Makueni is planning a community-driven programme youth will be employed to clean up the environment.

"To have a clean environment needs everyone's efforts. In Makueni, we are ready for partnerships as we work to meet the world environment agenda," said the deputy governor.