The government has announced that chiefs across the country will take the lead in the nationwide tree planting exercise that will be held on Monday, November 13.
The exercise, which will be led by President William Ruto, aims to plant 150 million trees across the country in one day.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki has declared Monday, November 13, 2023, a public holiday for the public to take part in a national tree-growing exercise.
In a gazette notice dated November 6, Prof Kindiki said President William Ruto will lead the country in the tree-growing exercise in line with his administration’s ambitious plan of growing 10 billion trees by 2032.
In a joint statement on Sunday, November 12, Interior PS Raymond Omollo and his Forestry counterpart Gitonga Mugambi, said the government has mobilized the provision of seedlings across the counties and is in the process of distributing them to various places.
Omollo said the government will focus at the location level, where chiefs will coordinate the distribution of seedlings and mobilize residents in their localities to actively participate.
“This way, we will be able to maximize this day to grow as many trees as possible as we work towards attaining our ambitious goal of planting 15 billion trees by 2032,” said Omollo in a joint statement on Sunday, October 12.
He urged Kenyans to visit their nearest chief’s office to acquire the tree seedlings.
“This nationwide tree growing campaign is not only about planting trees, but is also focused on taking good care of them to maturity. We call on the public to actively participate in nurturing the planted trees and taking ownership of this national day to ensure long-term benefits for our environment,” he said.
President Ruto will launch the exercise at Kiu Wetland at Makindu in Makueni County while other senior government officials will be at respective counties for the same task.
According to the schedule, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi will be in Tharaka Nithi and Kirinyaga counties while Defence CS Aden Duale will be at Isiolo.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki will preside over tree planting Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit Counties.
Sports cabinet secretary Ababu Namwamba will be at Kilifi and Bungoma Counties for the tree growing exercise.
In Nairobi, Chief of Staff Felix Koskei will be overseeing the exercise around Bomas of Kenya while Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha will be at West Pokot and Elgeyo-Marakwet.
Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Performance and Delivery Moses Kuria was tasked to oversee to lead the exercise in Kisumu while Education CS Ezekiel Machogu will be at Migori and Trans-Nzoia counties.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo will oversee planting of trees in Nandi County while Mining CS Salim Mvurya will be in Tana River and Lamu counties.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya said the county planning teams will avail these seedlings at designated county planting sites.
Tuya said the tree planting holiday is aimed at taking advantage of the short rains to plant the trees.
“We aim to grow at least 100 million seedlings on this day across the country. The National target for the short rain season is 500 million seedlings,” CS Tuya said.
Tuya added that a whole government approach has been to oversee the success of the day.
“There are 150 million ready seedlings at Kenya Forestry Research Institute and Kenya Forest service nurseries in the country, as well as nurseries of other ministries, departments and agencies of government,” said Tuya.
The CS also said that there are millions of seedlings in private nurseries, run by women and youth groups in community Forest Associations and Community based Organisations across the country available at a fee.
“I Would like to urge fellow citizens that in the true Kenyan spirit, letus buy a seedling or two from these community-run nurseries and plant in our shambas,” Tuya stated