Monday, December 6, 2021
PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo flanged by CCF Julius Kamau together with the Akurinuu faithfull plants a commemorative tree at the Tharaka University in Tharaka Nithi County

PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo flanged by CCF Julius Kamau together with the Akurinuu faithfull plants a commemorative tree at the Tharaka University in Tharaka Nithi County

The Government as from next week will distribute over fifty thousand metric tonnes of seedlings to various schools, selected learning institutions and the prisons service through the Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) towards the National Tree Planting Campaign.

Principal Secretary, Environment and Forestry, Dr. Chris Kiptoo said this whilst presiding over a major tree – planting event at Tharaka Nithi University College, which was attended by residents and faithful of the Akurinu Church.

The event marked the rolling out of an ambitious one- million- tree planting national campaign launched by the General Conference of the Akurinu Churches Assembly (GECACA) to celebrate 200 years of the Church’s establishment.

The initiative covers 22 counties and seeks to accelerate and compliment government efforts in meeting the targeted 10% national tree cover by 2022, a constitutional requirement buttressed by a directive from the President.

Dr Kiptoo praised the Akurinu Church for its commitment and effort saying “the planting of one million indigenous and fruit trees in the identified areas will be a success”.

He noted, the Akurinu church had over 1.5 million faithful spread out in the counties who were easy to mobilize for tree planting. He asked the Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) and the county governments to support them with technical support in order to succeed.

Anne Njuguna, a senior official of the Church said forests were “our source of pride and secured our heritage because most of our worship was done under trees which provided shade for us”. She said 500, 000 trees had been earmarked for planting in Tharaksa Nithi County by her church. She welcomed the support given by the University College which had provided tree seedlings and sites for planting.

Professor Peter Muruingi, Principal of the University College and host to the event pledged to provide more trees seedlings to the Akorino faithful to enable them achieve their target. He informed those present that the Murubaini (Neem) tree was “doing very well” in the County and had changed the university grounds for the better by providing shade in the hot area.

Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Njoka said his institution and Tharaka University College would partner in identifying trees useful for medicinal value.

The County Commissioner of Tharaka Nithi, Beverly Opwora, confirmed to the PS that a Tree Planting Committee had been formed and plans were in top gear to invite senior government officials to plants trees in Tharaka during the scheduled Public Service Week – a popular event held annually in June to showcase activities and services offered by the national government.

The Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Julius Kamau, recognized efforts made by non-governmental organizations and civil societies in conserving the environment, pointing out that, the Akurinu faithful are ‘strategic partners’ because of their wide grassroots reach.

Beatrice Mbula, a KFS official heading the Eastern Region Conservancy, said stakeholders like the Equity Group and the NCBA bank were very supportive of tree planting efforts in the area. She said, this had made the area community very willing to plant.

The event was graced by other senior government officials and members of the community who planted over 1,000 trees of the species delonix regia, markhamealuteah, termarindus indica, senna siamea, and azerndiraclita (Neem Tree).

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