The University has partnered with Kenya Forest Service and Equity Group to plant over 5000 seedlings across all campuses. The college planted 400 seedlings with the help of students and staff from all the Departments. Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA) was represented by Mr. James O. Kaoga and Ms. Martha Mugo.
During the exercise, Equity representative, Westland’s branch urged the members present to strive to conserve trees as they help in beautification, provide humans with oxygen, and boost wildlife by providing shelter and food to the animals. Chiromo campus is home to many monkeys because of the trees surrounding the campus.
The Principal, Prof. Francis Mulaa, Dr, Catherine Lukhoba (Director SBS), and the College Registrar, Mr. Daniel Gitonga led the staff and students in this noble exercise.
“When you plant a tree you plant the seed of peace and hope,” noted the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama as he recalled the words uttered by the Late Prof. Wangari Maathai an avid champion of tree planting and environmental preservation. The Vice-Chancellor encouraged tree planting as an integral part of promoting biodiversity, giving future generations hope and a conducive environment to thrive in, and most importantly a necessary component for conserving the environment.
The Chief Conservator of Forests, Kenya Forest Service, Mr. Julius Kamau, noted that ‘The Kenya Forestry service (KFS) was honored, being invited to celebrate with the university and being chosen as a partner in this tree planting initiative. Mr. Kamau congratulated the University for its Tree planting efforts and assured those present that KFS is committed to upholding Wangari Maathai’s legacy in the protection and provision of green spaces across the country.
The government plans to plant 2 billion trees by 2022. 500 million trees in 2020, 700million trees in 2021, and 800 million trees in 2022, but the challenge has been the availability of seedlings and also the Covid pandemic. However, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry notes if the 35 million people in Kenya each planted a seedling, we would have planted 2 billion trees. The University plants trees every year as part of its mandate in conserving the environment.
The theme for the day was UON@50: Partnering in A forestation beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic.