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Kenyans have been told to move from just planting trees to growing and ensuring that the trees mature.

Photo credit: Oxfarm International

Environment and Forestry CS Soipan Tuya said this will help achieve the 15 billion trees target by 2030.

This follows the reforming of the Kazi Mtaani Initiative into a tree planting initiative.

The Initiative was started in 2009 with the aim of employing both urban and rural youth in public works projects including waste collection, road maintenance, water harvesting and afforestation.

The CS spoke during an interview at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) climate change meeting at Sharma El Sheikh in Egypt.

Tuya said her main agenda when she returns home this week will be the forest and rangeland restoration initiative. This includes planting of the 15 billion trees.

โ€œThis will be high on my agenda. I will be consolidating all the tree growing efforts back home. We want to move from tree planting to tree growing where we actually see through the nurturing of these trees up to their maturity,โ€ Tuya said.

โ€œThis will be my first point of action and I know we need a very clear monitoring system. So that as we grow trees, we need to keep a tab of every single day to be able to meet the target we are talking about.”

Last month, President William Ruto said the initiative will now see youths employed to plant trees.

Ruto said tree planting will save the country from the adverse effects of climate change and also create employment for the youth.

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“The government shall join all Kenyan citizens to plant five million trees in the next five years,” he said.

“Each one of us, the county governments, the national government, all the other agencies, the private sector and all other business traders shall join hands to plant trees to restore our rivers and get rainfall again.”

by AGATHA NGOTHO || Science Writer

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