The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology students’ Environmental Management Association (JEMA) in collaboration with JKUSA and Rotaract are spearheading a tree planting campaign to plant 10,000 seedlings by the end of the rainy season.
The campaign dubbed, “Keeping JKUAT Green” kicked off in earnest two weeks ago at the University’s main campus.
Farouk Ibrahim, an executive member of the Association said while students are engaged in many activities at the university, they were alive to the fact that human life was centred around the benefits that were brought by planting of trees, key among them the air we breathe and rain.
He said JKUAT, besides being a training hub, is a research centre of excellence, and the presence of diversified variety of trees would compliment research activities given the Institution’s background of Agriculture.
Ms. Sarah Pkyach, a Third Year Biostatistician who was recently voted Miss JKUAT said it was everyone’s responsibility to plant tree if they wanted to experience nature’s beauty as the existence of trees not only provided aesthetics but also protected many other micro-organisms.
Mr. Jared Masinde, a Third Year Information Technologist and recently voted Mr JKUAT 2nd runners-up urged Kenyans to improve the country’s forest cover as it had seriously been compromised by illegal tree harvesters.
Speaking during one of the tree planting exercises held Friday April 20, 2018 at the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC) within the University, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in-charge of Administration Prof. Victoria Ngumi challenged Kenyans to realize the importance of trees if they wanted to live in conducive environments.
“Cutting down trees affects so many things that sustain our livelihoods. Apart from climate amelioration, trees provide oxygen that we use, improve the air quality we inhale, conserve water, preserve soil and supports wildlife,” said Prof Ngumi.
She wondered whether the floods the country was experiencing which had cause so much untold miseries were not as a result of the cutting down of tree. The Deputy Vice Chancellor, a professor of Botany said trees sustained the ecosystem through their roots by preventing soil erosion during floods by holding the soil in place, adding that planting of trees saved water as well as reduced global warming.
The Chairman of the Department of Botany Dr. Moses Gichua commended the students for voluntarily coming up with the activity which he said would go a long way in making the university green and more habitable even during hot seasons.
Others present during the tree planting were the Director Research Dr. Mbindyo, Director linkages Dr. Muikamba Kaibui, the University’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer Dr. Hindzano Ngonyo, Chairman JKUSA Robinson Asman among others.