Wednesday 21st April 2021
MESPT in partnership with Makueni County Government launched the inaugural tree planting campaign that will see Makueni plant 1 million trees and 2 million trees planted by the South Eastern Economic block by August 2021. This is part of a greater initiative to plant 2 million trees to combat effects of climate change by Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos and Kitui Counties ahead of the annual devolution conference.
During the inaugural ceremony, His Excellency Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, the Governor of Makueni county led the county team and the public to the event which was launched at Kamunyolo Dam. While flagging off the exercise, Governor Kivutha Kibwana noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta had committed to plant the two millionth tree in Makueni during the 7th devolution conference slated for 23rd to 26th August 2021.
R-L: H. E. Governor Kivutha Kibwana watering a tree he had just planted. Ms. Doreen Kinoti, MESPT GEAP Manager planting her tree amidst onlookers.
The tree planting drive is a call to strengthen communities to act on climate change and develop stronger mitigation capacities. Climate change continues to manifest itself globally in myriad ways. Kenya is very vulnerable to climate change with current projections suggesting that its temperature will rise to 2.5ºC by 2050, while rainfall will become more intense and less predictable.
Hon. Julius Kaloi, CECM Department of Lands, Urban Development, Environment & Climate Change and Hon. Lawrence Nzunga, CECM Department of Trade & cooperatives & Acting CECM Department of Agriculture giving their speeches during the inaugural ceremony.
While welcoming the participants, Hon. Julius Kaloi, CECM Environment & Climate Change narrated the environmental effects of climate change more so for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands like Makueni County which undermine sustainable development. He said that Makueni county government has been actively involved in climate adaptation and mitigation projects and programs that are helping in combating climate change. The County’s Integrated Development Plan (2018-2022) aims to enhance the county’s forest cover from the current 13% to at least 18% through reforestation and tree planting activities.
His Excellency Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, the Governor of Makueni County giving his address. He also gave one youth an opportunity to say how the county government could engage them in the tree planting initiative
In his address, Governor Kivutha Kibwana called on households and other counties to emulate tree growing culture in a bid to save the country from the harsh effects of climate change. He commended MESPT for taking lead as the first partner to commit to support the initiative. He further noted that through the Ajira Programme, youths will be involved to water and take care of the 6,000 agro forestry and fruit seedling tree donated by MESPT through the Green Employment in Agriculture Programme funded by DANIDA.
Ms. Doreen Kinoti giving her speech. She also had a one-on-one engagement with Governor Kivutha Kibwana and and Hon. Lawrence Nzunga.
Ms. Doreen Kinoti, Programme Manager for Green Employment in Agriculture Programme (GEAP) reiterated MESPT’s commitment to green transformation agenda as well as market access and MSME development, improved access to finance, improved food safety and increased productivity all of which are key programme outputs. She confirmed that the Trust had indeed committed to plant 4,000 agro-forestry and 2,000 fruit trees in Makueni County to transform agricultural value chains such as Dairy, Export Vegetables, Mango, Avocado, Indigenous Poultry, and Aquaculture to green. Ms. Kinoti concluded that the GEAP programme will endeavor to create 3,000 decent jobs and link 40,000 farmers to markets.
Hon. Lawrence Nzunga, the Acting CECM Agriculture expressed his optimism about the initiative noting that the launch will motivate other partners to come onboard to contribute to the goal. He explained that the 2,000 fruit trees will be certified seedlings and will be distributed to farmers in Kanoto and Wathi Wa Isyokuni in Mbooni and Mwaani farmers in Kilungu.