State avails Kshs 1 billion to Kenya Red Cross to continue relief efforts

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Environment CS Keriako Tobiko (left) during the National Tree Planting Day
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Environment CS Keriako Tobiko (left) during the National Tree Planting Day

The government has set aside Kshs 1 billion to be availed to the Kenya Red Cross Society to mitigate the effects of the floods that have affected different parts of the country and continue their relief efforts wherever required. Speaking during the launch of the National Tree Planting Day at Moi Forces Academy in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta lauded the efforts made by the public servants and every Kenyan in particular, to deal with the ongoing crises that have arisen due to the heavy rains experienced in different parts of the country.

Further donations have been made to Kenya Red Cross after an appeal was made, “Our development partners and friends have given freely and we thank them for their generosity,” said President Kenyatta. The European Union Mission has availed Kshs 1.5 million Euros in response to the Kenya Red Cross appeal, the United Kingdom offered 1.3 million Euros and the Dutch government 400,000 Euros, bringing the total amount so far to 3.3 million Euros.

President Kenyatta leads a cleaning session
President Kenyatta leads a cleaning session

However, the President was quick to point out that managing the environment well is key and pointed out that the recent disasters including a spate of droughts show that the challenge of climate change is real. With the planting of 50 million trees the target set for this year alone, President Kenyatta said the current forest cover is too low and can’t supply the goods and services required for development for a country that is growing as quickly as Kenya. “The Constitution requires us to grow tree cover to 10% of Kenya’s land mass and my administration has set out to achieve that goal by 2022. The target is set and what remains is the hard work,” he said.

He said every bit of skill will need to be sued in the conservation of the environment and that County governments will have to integrate environmental protection in their community policing. As part of incorporating climate change lessons into the curriculum, the state will ensure that children plant trees to cover at least 10% of all school land. Moreover, he affirmed that tree planting will continue in all Counties throughout the year until the target is achieved. The President was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko among other leaders.