The CS Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko, on Saturday November 9, 2019 led a team of Ministry officials, stakeholders and residents to the tree planting of 20,000 tree seedlings in Kiarubora village in Kirinyaga County. Mr. Tobiko lauded the Rice Husks Project supported by NETFUND, County Government of Kirinyaga and other partners, which aims to reduce dependency on trees for wood and timber for building and construction. The CS acknowledged and awarded certificates of partnership to NETFUND and other stakeholders who supported the tree planting in the County.
NETFUND Ag. CEO Samson Toniok pledged to finance community based organizations to raise 100,000 tree seedlings in Kirinyaga County, in support of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s efforts to increase Kenya’s tree cover to 10% by the year 2022. In line with its vision of sustainable financing for environmental management in Kenya, NETFUND has partnered with several institutions, counties, individuals and community groups to raise tree seedlings and in tree growing exercises. Kirinyaga is the latest County to receive a donation of about 10,000 tree seedlings from NETFUND. Green Spaces, a local Community Based Organisation, also mobilized an additional 10,000 seedlings from partners for planting in Kirinyaga last weekend.
Prior to the event, NETFUND donated and planted 9,881 tree seedlings in different schools, including Kiandieru Secondary, Kiandieru Primary, Kavote Primary, Kinyakiiru Secondary, Kinyakiiru Primary, Thiba Primary and Upper Sagana Primary in Kirinyaga County.
Mr. Tobiko challenged the community members to plant and grow trees in their communities, and informed them that the very good projects could benefit from the NETFUND Green Innovations Award (GIA), whose fourth cycle will be launched in January 2020. GIA focuses on identifying, recognizing and rewarding innovative projects and ideas in environmental management. The CS noted that his Ministry, its agencies and partners would return to the County to plant trees in Kirinyaga University, whose students had been instrumental in planting of the 20,000 seedlings during the weekend. The CS insisted that like was the case in Maasai Mau forest, people living illegally in the other gazetted forests would have to move out so that the water towers can be reclaimed and reforested. NETFUND was challenged by the CS to consider awarding counties, which would have increased their forest cover each year, and by the year 2022.
The National Tree planting was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 12, 2018. There has been broad institutional and multi-stakeholder support in attaining the target of 10% tree cover of the national land area, as provided under Article 69 (1)(b) of the Constitution of Kenya.