The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) staff and stakeholders celebrated the National Tree Planting Day on November 13, 2023 by planting trees at the Nairobi National Park.
The ceremony was graced by, Hon. Felix Koskei, the Head of Public Service Commission. Hon. Koskei, while addressing the participants, emphasized the urgent need to enhance forest cover from the current 12.3% to an ambitious 30% within the next decade. He highlighted the importance of restoring the forest cover and protecting endangered tree species, underlining the crucial role of such initiatives in preserving the environment for future generations.
"This tree planting exercise here today is a step towards improving the forest cover from the 12.3% that we have today to 30% in ten years; it is also a step towards protecting endangered tree species. We have to ensure that our heritage, and our environment comes back to what it was before," stated Hon Koskei during his address.
The KWS Director General, Dr. Erustus Kanga, outlined a vision to transform the face of Nairobi National Park by encouraging visitors to participate in planting at least one tree during their park visits by distributing seedlings at the park gate. This initiative aligns with a presidential directive to establish a green line of 50 meters around the entire Nairobi National Park. An initiative that fortifies the commitment of the national government to environmental conservation as stated by Dr. Kanga.
"We are having long queues of visitors at the Nairobi National Park. I want the long queues to come in and plant trees. The visitors coming in will be given a tree to plant .Through this initiative I believe that we will not only change the dynamics of the Nairobi National Park but the entire Nairobi City through the clean air from this park.," stated Dr. Kanga.
In a remarkable feat, KWS staff and partners demonstrated their commitment by planting an impressive 7-kilometer stretch of trees. This collective effort underscores the collaborative spirit required to achieve ambitious conservation goals and protect the vital ecosystems.
Last year President William Ruto launched the 15 Billion Tree campaign, which aims at rallying Kenyans, Non- Governmental Organizations, Agencies and Corporates to plant trees to rehabilitate forests. KWS is expected to plant 50 million trees to realize this initiatives.