Center For Mathematics Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) has donated tree seedlings to Ngenia Boys’ High school, Kiambu County to support the President’s initiative Programme of planting 15 billion trees by 2032.
The initiative will see the organization donate seed balls and tree seedlings to various schools across the country, which in turn become hubs that will support the surrounding communities and other schools to plant trees.
Speaking at Ngenia high School in Limuru Wednesday, one of the schools among the three in Kiambu that have been identified to benefit from the initiative, John Oyuga from CEMASTEA said they are working with various schools to implement the presidential directive and have since teamed up with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) that is providing the seeds.
Oyuga explained that they have identified 3 to 8 schools in each county, where they are going to establish the nurseries and seedbeds, each with 10,000 seedlings and once this is done, the trees will be ready for distribution.
“We will be working with stakeholders, identifying the schools within their environment to come and collect seedlings depending on their need. The species have been identified per region, taking into account the climatic conditions,” he explained.
“Today we have brought 100 seedlings including acacia, japonica and Croton species from our CEMASTEA nurseries, he said, adding that they intend to establish a nursery hub with KEFRI packaging and they will be coming to the selected schools to establish seedbeds and nurseries.
The process, Oyuga explained, started this year under the performance contract for the financial year 2022/2023 and they want to plant 10,000 trees and even move further, hence the reason for establishing the nursery hubs in every County.
Once the nurseries are well established, they expect every community surrounding the schools to benefit from the programme.
The schools, he added, have the leeway to plant the number of trees they want and after distributing the seedlings to the community, they can sell the surplus at even half price for sustainability of the programme.
Another advantage of the Programme is that the teachers and members of the school community have the opportunity to be given seedlings to go and plant in their homes without buying because this is their nursery.
“Ngenia will be among three schools in Kiambu County that have been identified to grow the tree seedlings and we have been working with KEFRI in packaging the seeds for the schools selected to be hubs,” he said.
The seed species have also been identified according to the suitability of the area depending on the climatic conditions.
“We not only supply to the schools, but equally we make follow ups and we have already done some sensitization of the schools online on how they can carry out the exercise,” added Oyuga.
Ngenia boys Principal Paul Warutere lauded the initiative saying that once the 10,000 seedlings mature, their intention is to also transplant them elsewhere within the school compound.
“We are blessed to have 24 acres; thus we have space that will enable us plant very many trees. Over and above that, we also intend to sell and benefit some of the neighboring institutions as well as also donate some of those seedlings to them, so that they too can have an opportunity to plant trees,” he added.
The principal thanked CEMASTEA for the partnership saying it would help the institution in terms of sustainability and they will have enough seedlings to sell to the neighboring communities as well as church-based organizations.
“This is a very important event and activity in the long term as it will not only impact positively on our community, but God willing we will be able to give some of the same seedlings to our students so that they can also plant trees at their homes,” Warutere said.
He thanked CEMASTEA for not only helping them with seedlings, but also partnering and assisting them on biogas for schools as an alternative energy source.
“We initially had about five acres where we planted over 5000 trees and that has become our source of fuel. When we are cooking for the young fellows, we do not struggle with firewood,” he said.
Meanwhile, the donation of tree seedlings to the schools comes barely days after the Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu announced a competition for schools based on the number of trees planted.
The CS said the initiative aims at encouraging schools to prioritize tree planting as a means to mitigate adverse effects of climate change and the ranking system to be used will be determined by the number of trees per institution.
Source: Kenya News Agency