First Lady Rachel Ruto has reiterated the need for Kenyans to heed President William Ruto's challenge to plant 15 million trees by 2032 by planting trees in schools and their homes.
Rachel, who kicked off a two-day tour of Narok County, launched the Women's Economic Empowerment Program, Environment and Climate Change Action and Faith Diplomacy for Youths in the county. She reaffirmed her office's commitment to heed the President's call and is planning to plant five million trees through the 'Mama Doing Good Initiative' in the same period.
She said trees are life givers by providing fruits to the community, fuel and also help in mitigating climate change. She called on schools to target fruit trees that will help in the diet improvement of their students.
She said Narok County is very special because of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve hence the importance to conserve the environment for the wildlife that earns the country over Ksh3 billion in revenue annually.
"Through a collaboration of state and non-state actors we can achieve this if Kenyans embrace for accelerate implementation of reforestation across the county," the First Lady said.
In Narok town, Rachel also engaged in environment-related activities by spearheading a cleaning exercise in Narok town at Majengo estate where she handed over 100 dustbins to the county government to help collect garbage to promote a clean town.
"As we make sure the call by the President to plant trees must be adhered to in the country, we are also making sure our environment where we live is conducive and very clean and with that in mind my office has provided dustbins to be placed in strategic positions in Narok town to stop aimless littering of the town," she added.
She further led a tree planting exercise at St Mary's Secondary School before joining St Mary's Primary School for the 60th anniversary as the school was started in 1963.
At the St Mary's Primary School, Mama Rachel launched the 'Mama Fruit Gardens' initiative and handed over fruit tree seedlings to 10 primary schools within Narok before commissioning the Center of Excellence in Tree Nursery Management at Maasai Mara University Botanical Gardens. She also handed over seeds from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute to 23 schools.
For the Women Empowerment Program, Mama Rachel hosted a Narok County women's meeting at the Narok Baptist Church before closing her day by attending a Music concert in the Narok town youth hall.
Narok County Governor Patrick Ntutu welcomed the First Lady and promised to plant trees in all public primary schools and institutions in the county in an effort to increase the forest cover in the county.
Ntutu said under the Kenya Kwanza administration the county has benefited with Ksh377 million for the completion of the Uhuru Market in Narok Town and another Ksh500 million for the industrial park for the residents to be able to sell their farm produce.
"Some 70 per cent of Narok economy is Agricultural-based and President William Ruto's target of building markets and industrial parks would be of relevance to residents of this counties," said Ntutu.
Others who accompanied the first lady are MPs Agnes Pareyio (Narok North), Kitilai Ntutu (Narok South), David Ole Sankok (EALA) and Deputy Governor Tamalinye Koech.