Nairobi — The Ministry of Roads and Transport has set an ambitious target of 30 million trees to align with the Presidential Programme for the Accelerated Restoration of Forests and Rangelands.
Transport and Roads Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen during the tree planting exercise in Mombasa County anticipates that the different agencies assigned the tree planting exercise will complete the target by June 30, 2024.
"During these short rains, we expect all agencies and divisions to meet half of their targets by 30th December, 2023. They are also required to commit to continuing with this exercise throughout the year," Murkomen said.
The State Department for Roads has been assigned 20 million trees while the State Department for Transport is expected to plant 10 million by 2024.
So far, the State Department for Roads has planted 415,000 trees, while the State Department for Transport has managed 16,100 trees.
"I am a live to the fact that our sector leaves significant carbon footprints. This is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that is generated by our actions directly and indirectly. By growing trees, we contribute to offsetting our carbon footprint," Murkomen noted.
CS Murkomen was assigned the mandate to oversee the tree planting exercise in Mombasa and Homa Bay counties.
In the coastal county, The 10-year tree-growing target is 7,452,454 trees for Mombasa, and during these short rains, the target is to grow 248,415 trees.
"Mombasa, with a population of 1,208,333 people, currently has a tree cover of 23.75 percent. I have also learnt that the County Government's seedlings propagation target is 1,199,537 seedlings. So far, 165, 421 trees have been planted in this County under the Jaza Miti Initiative," he said in Mikindani.
In December last year,the country launched the African Landscape Restoration Initiative a key component of the country's efforts to build climate change resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and restore 10.6 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes
The National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign and African Landscape Restoration Initiative ask of each individual living in Kenya to plant 30 trees a year. This amounts to 300 trees per person in 10 years.
"Mother Nature has consistently rewarded us when we have nurtured her well. It is time to repay the debt and safeguard our planet for future generations,"Murkomen noted.
Kenyans were today given a special holiday to plant 100 million trees as part of the government's goal to plant 15 billion trees in 10 years.
The holiday allows "each and every Kenyan to own the initiative", according to Environment Minister Soipan Tuya.
Each Kenyan is being encouraged to plant at least two seedlings, leading to the 100-million target.
About 150 million seedlings have been made available in public nurseries.
The government will be providing the seedlings for free at its forest agency centres for Kenyans to plant in designated public areas.
But it has also encouraged Kenyans to buy at least two seedlings to plant on their own land.