Kenyans have been urged to plant trees so as to promote forest cover and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir noted that environmental degradation has resulted in adverse climate change effects such as the devastating drought recently witnessed in the country. Speaking at Kona Baridi, Ngong, during a tree planting exercise, the CS said that the drought resulted in the loss of over 2.5 million livestock and directly affected the lives of more than 4 million Kenyans. 'The recent drought witnessed has been described as the worst in four decades and has had devastating effects,' he said. Chirchir further revealed that the socio-economic losses resulting from climate change over the past decade amount to an estimated 3 to 5 per cent of the national gross domestic product. The CS added that, in line with President William Ruto's directive that seeks to plant 15 billion trees by the year 2032, the government was supporting tree planting initiatives and partnering with stakeholders in environmental conservation. Chirchir said tree planting was not solely an environmental initiative but also an integral part of our energy strategy. 'By planting trees, we not only enhance the beauty of our landscape but also contribute to carbon absorption, climate regulation, and biodiversity preservation,' said the CS. Energy PS Mohammed Lipan, who was present during the exercise, revealed that the State Department for Petroleum aims to plant 25,000 trees covering an area of 120 hectares over the next five years. 'This year, we are excited to announce that we will be planting 11,000 trees. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenya Forest Services, who will take care of them, ensuring their growth and contributing to the overall health of our ecosystems,' said Lipan. The PS noted that engaging in activities such as planting trees contributes to the achievement of sustainable development goals through environmental conversation and the promotion of a green economy. During the tree planting exercise at Kona Baridi, a total of 1100 trees were planted.
Source: Kenya News Agency