Institute Supports Presidential 15 Billion Tress Drive, Plants 2000 Trees
KEWI Kitui Campus staff and students held a tree planting exercise on November 1st, that saw approximately 2000 trees planted as part of the deliverable spelt out in the performance contact with the government through the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation which requires each staff to plant at least 30 trees.
The ambitious exercise which also doubled up as a bonding opportunity and came at a time when the nation is in the short rain season of October, November, and December (OND) supports the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Vision 2030, the Forest and Landscape Restoration Implementation Plan (FOLAREP, 2022-2027), and other economic blueprints which dictate that governments and non-governments increase forest cover to 10% and forest cover to 30% by 2032.
Speaking during the exercise, the Campus Principal, Mr. Elkanah Matara Kaburi, noted that tree planting is without doubt an initiative towards achieving unity between the forests, climate, and mankind.
"The two thousand trees planted today will provide a multitude of benefits, both long- term and short-term. Trees greatly benefit the people living around them by having a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, reducing stress, and encouraging outdoor exercise. I also want to appreciate that this is an opportunity as a bonding exercise to boost morale and build trust in this community." He said.
The exercise also hugely contributed to the ambitious Presidential 15 Billion Tress Drive which seeks to plant 15 billion trees by 2032. The initiative works to reduce greenhouse emissions, stop and reverse deforestation, and restore deforested and degraded landscapes to combat the effects of climate change in the country. A case in point is SDG 15, which aims to “protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems; sustainably manage forests; combat desertification; and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.”
Earlier on, Eng. Sebastian Kyoni, Minister for Roads, Transport, Energy, and Public Works, Makueni County Government had led a twenty-member team to the institute to seek knowledge on the consulting services the institute offers on borehole drilling, water loss reductions, and water quality analysis. Eng. Kyoni while making his address said that water scarcity, dirty water, increasing distance to water sources, and the high cost of water were forcing households to develop water coping mechanisms in the county to address the existing and emerging potable water challenges.
He further added that prompt actions needed to be taken to address the issue of rampant illegal connections that were eating up on the revenue collected from the water sector.
“To address illegal connections to public networks that contribute to nonrevenue water, it is important for us to be in contact with stakeholders in the water sector to enable us to come up with appropriate solutions on the above matters. We also must appreciate that trees are nature's water managers. Their contribution to water conservation cannot be overstated." He said.
The team also took the opportunity to meet, interact and assess the progress of the students who receive support from the county to study at the institute.