Kenyans urged to restore ecosystem by planting more trees

As more than 4.3 million people in Kenya face hunger, the severity of the ongoing drought cannot be understated.

According to the latest report by the National Steering Committee on Drought Response (NSCDR), the situation may take nine more months.

The committee recently signed a deal with the Kenya Defence Forces and the Media Owners Association (MOA) to mobilise resources to help the millions of citizens ravaged by hunger.

MOA chairman Stephen Gitagama said addressing the challenge requires a partnership, between the government, the private sector and Kenyans.

“It is unfortunate that 60 years after independence, Kenyans are dying or suffering from hunger,” he said.

Mr Gitagama, who is also the Nation Media Group CEO, urged Kenyans to restore the ecosystem and mitigate climate change effects by planting trees.

“Media highlight the plight facing Kenyans. Let’s put the government and the committee to account,” he said.

Kenya is among the countries in the Horn of Africa badly hit by the effects of global warming, says the Food Agriculture Organisation.

Last year, President William Ruto came up with the Special Presidential Forestry and Rangeland Acceleration Programme, which is tasked with ensuring 15 billion trees are planted in 10 years.

The President set a new target of 30 per cent of tree cover by 2032, from the current 12.13 per cent.

The plan involves the government, private sector and NGOs.

NSCDR chairman, Peter Ndegwa, said the drought is a result of the little rains experienced last year.

“The drought will reverse the gains made from the short rains,” Mr Ndegwa said.

More than 20 dry counties have been depending on relief food in the last three years.

By Sammy Waweru

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