REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Health CS roots for environmental enhancement; says conservation critical for health and wellbeing

  

 

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has underscored the critical role of trees in human health amid increasing threats posed by climate change.

Speaking at Baraton primary school in Transzoia County during a tree planting exercise which was part of the 2022 national and county level short rains tree planting campaign, the health CS said besides providing food and oxygen, trees store carbon, stabilise soil and give life to the world’s wildlife.

She said the government has prioritized expanding, managing and conserving forests sustainably with the country envisioning to attain a 30 percent forest cover nationally by 2032.

“This tree planting exercise is a national event, led by H.E. the President, Dr William Ruto. His Excellency, as part of Kenya staking its role to the United Nations decade of Ecosystem restoration, declared on the 20th October, 2022, Kenya’s ambition to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.” Said the health CS.

She said the national tree growing restoration campaign led by the ministry of environment and forestry is going to provide Kenya with a chance to employ young people.

“We look forward to creating a ‘green army’, a dedicated team of young men and women across the country, who will support our tree growing efforts in raising seedlings at tree nurseries. They will also support planting and growing these trees to maturity. We will start with an initial 100,000 ‘green army’ spread across the entire country. Young men and women who are ecologically conscious, who will help us monitor the growth of the trees.” Observed the CS.

 

5,600 tree seedlings were planted during the week-long exercise with the CS saying it was in line with the government’s climate action agenda as well as the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration pronouncing 2021-2030 the decade of Ecosystem restoration.

“This Christmas season, we are urging Kenyans not to cut down any trees, but instead, each one of us is encouraged to plant a tree somewhere in their backyards, for those who are able to. Then each Christmas, decorate those trees in our backyards, as we grow and nurture them to maturity.” implored

Transzoia County governor George Natembeya, who was among those who participated in the tree planting exercise, pledged to support the government efforts by leading efforts to plant more trees in the region which is home to critical water towers.

The exercise was conducted across several areas within Transzoia county including AIC township church in Endebess, Transzoia primary school and Baraton Primary school with the Allan Chesang half marathon integrated into the exercise to kick-start the tree planting campaign as well as offer motivation to area residents. The health CS alongside area senator Allan Chesang were at hand to award winners of the race with their medals.

The senator said he will support the national government in its endeavour to conserve the environment pledging to spearhead the planting of 100 million trees within the region over the next five years.

The cabinet secretary also donated water tanks to Transzoia primary school and Baraton primary school, where she undertook her basic education, to ensure availability of adequate water to nurture the trees to their maturity.

The health CS at the same time urged area residents to observe appropriate hygiene measures during the festive season, when there are increased activities and interactions, to avoid the risk of contracting communicable diseases.

The tree planting exercise was part of the government’s ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees over the next ten years through a special presidential forest and rangeland restoration programme in a bid to combat the adverse effects posed by climate change. The plan will be implemented in two phases, the first phase of the campaign will involve planting of 5 Billion trees between now and 2027 with a further 10 billion trees set to be planted between 2027 and 2032.