According to Statistics by the Kenyan Ministry of Environment, the country’s forest cover is currently only at 7% of the country’s total land mass; less than the 10% recommended by the United Nations. The biggest threats to achieving the recommended threshold are: illegal logging, encroachment on protected areas and fuel wood collection. If we are to replenish our forest cover, which me must, it is imperative that we involve our children - for they are the environmental guardians of tomorrow.
As a Conservancy, we believe in the active participation of children in conservation. It is the only way to ensure our conservation efforts are sustainable, and it provides an important channel for imparting values of environmental stewardship to the next generation.
Last month, the Kenya Forestry Service donated 400 tree seedlings that we used to facilitate tree planting days in Weruini and Tharua Primary Schools as well as Lechugu Secondary School. Over the coming weeks, the tree planting will continue in Lechugu, Tigithi, Wathituga and Uaso Nyiro Primary schools.
As well as children, we also encourage all our communities to participate in tree planting. In collaboration with BodyShop, we established a tree planting project in eight communities surrounding the conservancy. The project, which has been running since 2015, has resulted in 125,000 tree seedlings being planted by the community groups. The trees are mainly indigenous, as well as a few select fruit trees. The project has helped us sensitise thousands of community members on the importance of planting trees, as well as providing an all important income generating avenue for some of them.