At least 11,000 young people are set to benefit from the government's tree planting initiative in Nairobi, President William Ruto has announced.
Speaking during the country's 59th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo National stadium in Nairobi on Monday, December 12, the Head of State said the national government working with the County Government of Nairobi will recruit the youth to grow at least 1.5 million trees in the city’s open and public spaces.
The President noted that the initiative, set to benefit youth previously engaged in the Jubilee administration's Kazi Mtaani program, is part of the government's big dream of greening the Kenyan capital.
The President also invited other counties to join hands with the national government to support the tree-planting initiative.
He directed the Ministry of Interior to ensure that all Regional Commissioners, County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners, Assistant County Commisisoners, Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs and Nyumba Kumi officials, mobilize the public drive for National Tree Planting Culture.
"The exercise will be co-ordinated at locational level and cascaded downwards," Ruto said.
The President said every Chief shall be required to dedicate at least one day per week for a public Baraza cum tree planting drive in which the public will be mobilized to plant and grow at least 3,000 trees weekly, within their respective locations.
"This weekly deliverable will be a shared responsibility among the Chief, his/her Assistant Chiefs and Nyumba Kumi officials. Each Assistant County Commissioner, Deputy County Commissioner, County Commissioner and Regional Commissioner shall file monthly returns on these targets to the Ministry of Interior," he added.
President Ruto noted that free seedlings would be provided to the public through Chiefs, schools and other public institutions by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to facilitate the exercise.
15 billion tree planting project
In his speech at the Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, President William Ruto said the tree planting programme will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, various experts and partners in government, UN organisations, NGOs, and academia.
"The objective is to grow 5 billion trees in the next 5 years, and an additional 10 billion trees by 2032. This will eventually lead to the rehabilitation and restoration of 10.6 million hectares in the 290 constituencies, as well as some specially selected ecosystem and water towers threatened by degradation and destruction," he said.
Ruto said to achieve the plan, the government will support efforts by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) to produce high-quality tree seeds in their 18 tree seeds centres countrywide.
"Agro-forestry and farming of avocados, mangoes, and macadamia will also open new value chains for our export market, creating new green jobs in the sector. I, therefore, urge all Kenyans to support the government’s call to grow at least 15 billion trees in the next 10 years. To achieve this target, every Kenyan should grow 300 trees," he stated.