Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s Karen Campus students and staff joined other stakeholders in planting trees around the Campus and the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ongata Rongai to protect and restore the water ecosystem in the area.
The joint tree planting initiative conducted December 4, 2019 run under the theme: Think Global, Act Local, was initiated to complement sustainable development goal number 6, which sets out to scale up reforestation in Kenya from the current forest cover of 7.4% to the global target of 10%.
The Principal, JKUAT, Karen Campus, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, who officiated at the tree planting exercise lauded the stakeholders for coming together to plant trees saying, the global target of restoring the forest cover to the previous state is a collective effort.
Prof. Kwanza challenged tree planting participants to not only plant the trees, but also nurture them to ensure that they grow to maturity.
While lauding the participants for turning out in large numbers, Prof. Kwanza urged them to be the custodians of the environment at large and reminded them that “We are not only Kenyan citizens but also global citizens.”
Mrs. Patricia Kitheka, who was representing the Kenya Forest Service, urged participants to seek technical assistance from her organization when planting trees. She advised that different species of trees grow better under certain environmental conditions.
She lauded JKUAT for embracing the campaign to grow trees despite the Campus already having significant forest cover which according to her estimation, is more than the target 10%.
“I laud JKUAT for taking on the responsibility of planting the trees in the church and even more in the University despite having many trees in the compound already,” said Mrs. Kitheka.
The Under Secretary General, Kenya Model United Nations JKUAT Karen Campus Chapter, Ms. Sharon Mwitari, pledged to continue planting trees around the community to address the water and sanitation problems, indicating, the initiative was only one of the several lined up in the days ahead.
The tree planting exercise comes in the heels of a similar initiative carried out at the JKUAT Juja Main Campus on Friday, November 8, 2019 where 3000 trees were planted and is in line with the directive from Ministry of Education (State Department of University Education) as part of the efforts to enhance and support afforestation across the country.
Other stakeholders present were Kenya Forest Services, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Ongata Rongai and the Kenya Model United Nations JKUAT Karen Chapter.