The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judith Wakhungu, together with the Kenya Red Cross secretary general, Abbas Gullet, today launched the Guinness world record Tree Planting Challenge at the Serena hotel, in Nairobi.The event was also graced by the Kenya Forest Service Director Emilio Mugo.
The event that was dubbed cultivating Trees, One Click At A time is aimed at planting five million trees in an hour is set to take place early November with the mission being to achieve 10% forest cover in the country. Currently the record is held by Philippines which managed to plant 2.4 million trees in an hour. Should the Red Cross achieve its target; the event will be followed up by another challenge that will involve planting Ksh 20 million trees continually for 12 hours.
The programme that was started by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural resources four years ago is yet to achieve its target of 20 billion trees come 2030 which requires 300 million trees to be planted annually.
The CS mentioned land grabbing and deforestation as a major challenge in the pursuit of achieving their vision and mentioned that they are working closely with the ministry of lands in order to eradicate the problem.
The Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross, Abbas Gullet, mentioned Daadab refugee camp as being one of the beneficiaries of the programme and currently Northern Kenyan region has 5 green belts. The locals too are also happy as they have gained from the tamarind trees that were planted four years ago and are now bearing fruit. Initially the area was marred by flash floods and soil erosion
The event which will cover three major dams, will involve over 70,000 volunteers from the Red Cross Society. All Kenyans were also urged to participate in the event, virtually by paying 350 Kenyan shillings per tree through the adapt a tree app that was also launched at the event.