Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has kicked off a tree planting exercise as part of its strategic campaign to increase its forest cover from the present 3 % to 10% around the University’s environs.
The tree planting exercise to be carried out around the University and its environs, which started Friday, November 8, 2019 is in line with a directive from Ministry of Education (State Department of University Education) aimed at supporting afforestation in the country.
While launching the exercise, JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, lauded the government’s plan saying the initiative will ensure the sustainability of Kenya’s natural ecosystems, particularly water which is an important component that determines the livelihood of living things.
Prof. Ngumi stated that the University was committed to compliment Government efforts geared towards the restoration of the land cover occasioned by what she described as ” terrible ecological experiences it has gone through in the past due to human forest destruction.”
In a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, the Vice Chancellor challenged all individuals to extend the responsibility to their homes in order to contribute to the national goals.
“I therefore challenge each one of you to make tree planting your hobby even in your own homes to plant trees as a way of increasing the country’s forest cover which is still quite low. With every Kenyan planting a tree, the forest cover will increase from the current 7% to at least 15 % by 2022 as is envisaged by the Kenya National Environmental Management Authority,” said Prof. Ngumi.
JKUAT’s Environment Management Association (JEMA) Patron, Prof. Mwangi Kenji expressed his desire to plant more trees around the University even after meeting the target of 5, 000 trees set by the University. This, he said, will ensure that most seedlings grow to maturity.
Mr. Newton Kemboi, a Third year student pursuing Telecommunication Engineering at JKUAT, and a member of JEMA, urged individuals to make environmentally cautious decisions that will help in rehabilitating it to its previous state.
Students’ environmental clubs that participated in the tree planting exercise included: JEMA, Society of Microbiology Students Rotaract, Society of Pharmacists, Society of Chemists, Society of Engineering Students, Mining Engineering Partnership and Kenyatta University Environmental Club.