Second Lady Pastor Dorcas Rigathi on Thursday, November 16, 2023, led a tree planting exercise at Chuka prison in Kathwana, Tharaka Nithi County.
The exercise, she said, was part of her ongoing boy-child outreach program against drugs and substance abuse targeting correctional facilities.
She said the move to plant 1,000 tree seedlings -involving 300 inmates - was in line with Kenya Kwanza’s government's agenda of planting at least 15 billion trees by 2032.
"I visited Chuka prison – Kathwana, Tharaka Nithi County and led prisoners, in a tree planting exercise during the boy-child outreach program targeting correctional facilities. I reminded the boys that they had a bright future ahead of them in spite of the mistakes they may have made.
"As the country works towards the 15 billion trees target by 2032, those behind prison walls must be included, according to Kenya Kwanza’s government's agenda of involving all in the country," a statement read in parts.
Pastor Dorcas Rigathi commended the prison management and inmates for participating in the exercise and working towards fulfilling the government directive.
She said she is advocating for inmates to engage in profit-making exercises like farming to dignify their lives.
"I also challenged the prison management to make use of the acres of unused land for agriculture, and the prisoners could make an income from the produce sold and even help offset their cash bail and fines. This is a largely unexploited approach to dignifying the lives of those in prison in their journey of transformation and reform," Pastor Dorcas Rigathi noted.
Also present during the exercise were Tharaka Nithi Woman Representative Susan Ngugi and Deputy Commissioner of Prisons David Ndumu among others.