General

NYS Undertakes 50 Million Tree Seedling Propagation Project

The Nation Youth Service (NYS) will provide 50 million tree seedlings this financial year towards the realisation of the 15 billion tree target by 2032 under the tree growing and restoration campaign programme.

Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, and Affirmative Action, Ms. Aisha Jumwa, said Kenya Forests Research Institute (KEFRI) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change, have already supplied 4.8 tonnes of assorted classified seeds to all 22 NYS units for propagation.

Speaking at the Yatta NYS unit on Friday, when she officially launched the seedling propagation initiative, the CS said they already have seven major nurseries with close to 5 million tree seedlings each, while the remaining 15 are satellite nurseries with less than 5 million per nursery.

Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action Ms. Aisha Jumwa plants a tree at the NYS Yatta unit during the launch of 50 million tree seedlings propagation initiative. Photo by Roselyne Kavoo

She disclosed that 35 million tree seedlings will be ready for planting during the October-November short rains, while an additional 15 million will be propagated to be planted next year in April.

‘The 15 million will be propagated between the months of September and December to be planted by the start of long rains in 2024. The goal is to meet and, if possible, surpass the target,’ said the CS.

Jumwa said besides the propagation of seedlings, the service also plans to plant 10 million trees under a comprehensive programme that will see 20 per cent of the trees grown on service units’ lands while the rest will be planted in degraded gazetted forests and water towers.

The CS disclosed that so far more than 10,500 trees had been planted in various NYS field units, adding that the field units include the NYS Paramilitary Academy, Kisumu and Turbo Field Units, and the National Technical Training Institute in Naivasha.

She called on Kenyans to rally behind the president’s clarion call to plant 15 billion trees by 2032 to combat climate change. ‘The only way to combat climate change is through the planting of trees and protecting them,’ she added.

Jumwa also pledged a borehole to serve the community surrounding the NYS unit to help them grow crops and increase food security.

‘I toured the unit and have seen that NYS has the potential to feed itself and the nation; the same should be replicated in the neighbouring community to alleviate food insecurity,’ noted the CS.

She was accompanied by acting NYS Director General James Tembur, who reiterated the service’s commitment to achieving the government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

‘Tree planting is an integral part of BETA, and as an institution under the stewardship of the CS, we shall not let you down,’ said Tembur.

The acting director general said the service will ensure the target of 50 million tree seedlings is met by March next year. ‘We are committed to meeting the target of the seedlings before the onset of the long rains next year,’ he said.

Also present were the Head of NYS Lower Eastern, Mr. Kennedy Nyakongo, and Yatta DCC, Ms. Lilian Njagi.

Source: Kenya News Agency