Kenya: President Ruto to Spearhead National Tree-Planting Exercise

President Ruto presides over the 7th Edition of the Kaptagat Annual Tree Planting in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet county (file photo).
13 November 2023

Nairobi — President William Ruto is on Monday set to spearhead a national tree-planting exercise in Kiu, Makindu, Makueni County, in line with the public holiday declared by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on November 7, 2023.

Cabinet Secretaries are also slated to take the lead in a similar exercise across different counties as part of the government's ambitious goal to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.

Encouraging public participation, Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has called on Kenyans to contribute to the initiative by planting at least two seedlings each during the exercise.

"Please take part in this noble cause because it benefits us all," she said.

While promoting the tree-planting initiative, Tuya urged Kenyans to utilize a mobile application called 'Jaza Miti' to document all tree-growing activities.

She stressed the step is crucial for the ministry to monitor and track the progress made toward the ambitious goal of planting 100 million trees on Monday alone.

In support of this endeavor, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) have made available 150 million tree seedlings distributed across all 47 counties.

The renewed efforts reflect Kenya's commitment to achieving the United Nations-recommended minimum of 10 percent forest cover per country, a target enshrined in national law.

Despite falling short of the initial goal to surpass the 10 percent mark by 2022 during former President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration, the national forest cover has increased to 8.8 percent from 5.9 percent in 2018, according to the National Forest Resources Assessment (NFRA) report released in 2022.

The NFRA report also estimated Kenya's overall tree cover, defined as tree patches outside designated forest areas exclusive of forest cover, at 12.1 percent.

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