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Country Declares National Holiday to Plant 100 Million Trees Against Climate Change

Kenya Declares National Tree-Planting Holiday
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Nairobi, Kenya – In a groundbreaking move to address the urgent climate crisis, the Kenyan government has declared a special holiday dedicated to tree planting. On November 13, 2023, Kenyans across the country will come together to plant 100 million trees as part of an ambitious initiative aimed at combating global warming and promoting environmental sustainability.

A Collective Effort

Environment Minister Soipan Tuya emphasized that this holiday allows “each and every Kenyan to own the initiative.” The goal is not only to reforest the nation but also to foster a sense of shared responsibility. By encouraging citizens to actively participate, Kenya aims to plant a staggering 15 billion trees within the next decade.

The Power of Trees

Why trees? Trees play a crucial role in mitigating climate change. They act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and releasing life-giving oxygen. By expanding Kenya’s forest cover, these newly planted trees will contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How It Works

  • Free Seedlings: The government is making approximately 150 million seedlings available in public nurseries. Kenyans can collect two free seedlings each to plant in designated public areas.
  • Personal Responsibility: In addition to the free seedlings, citizens are encouraged to purchase at least two more seedlings to plant on their own land.
  • Monitoring and Accountability: The tree-planting effort will be closely monitored through the Jaza Miti app. This innovative app allows individuals and organizations to record their tree-planting activities, including the species, quantity, and planting date. It also assists in matching the appropriate tree species with specific planting sites.

Nationwide Participation

President William Ruto led the tree-planting exercise in Makueni, located in the eastern part of the country. Cabinet ministers, county governors, and other officials were dispatched to various regions to lead the process. At the source of Kenya’s second-longest river, the Athi River, soldiers, residents, and families gathered to contribute to this vital environmental initiative.

Challenges and Optimism

While many Kenyans have embraced the tree-planting initiative, some challenges remain. Urban populations may not actively participate, opting instead to enjoy the extra holiday. Additionally, the ongoing heavy El Niño rains in the northern region have necessitated adjustments to the planting schedule.

Despite these challenges, the response has been amazing. Over two million registrations have already been recorded on the Jaza Miti app, reflecting the enthusiasm and commitment of Kenyans to safeguard their environment.

As the nation unites to plant trees, it sends a powerful message: Together, we can make a difference in the fight against climate change. Kenya’s tree-planting holiday serves as an inspiring model for other countries to follow in the pursuit of a greener, more sustainable future.

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