Kenya gets Sh310m Japan funding to boost forests


President Uhuru Kenyatta with State of Japan Ambassador to Kenya Ken Okaniwa at State House, Nairobi. PHOTO | PSCU

The Japanese government has extended a new Sh310 million funding to support forest restoration in Kenya, giving a major boost to the country’s efforts to increase forest cover.

The money, through the United Nations Development Programme, will be used in Elgeyo Marakwet, Kakamega and Kajiado ecosystems.

“The money is going into three ecosystems, Cherangany Elgeyo hills, Kakamega forest and Kajiado with a focus on restoration efforts to ensure we increase the forest cover,” said Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

The project has four components including tree seeds and seedlings to raise nurseries, technologies with a focus on conservation and purchase of seedlings where these communities will get macadamia, avocado among other seeds.

The economic survey 2022 shows that the country’s forest cover stands at 8.8 per cent against the target of 10 per cent.

“Kenya requires in the next ten years Sh6.2 trillion to mitigate and to adapt to climate change. On mitigation alone we require Sh2 trillion (18 billion dollars) and on adaptation Sh4.4 trillion. Today’s event aims towards raising this target amount,” Mr Kiptoo added.

“We are supporting the government of Kenya through the implementation partner UNDP to promote afforestation in the country,” said Ken Okaniwa, the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, during the launch.

Japan has a tree cover of more than 68 per cent according to the Food and agriculture organization (FAO).

“The project aims to implement robust forest restoration and protection activities serving as catalytic interventions that will put forth green recovery in Kenya’s NDC implementation plans, while building resilience to climate change,” said Mr Walid Badawi, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“In Kenya, Japan has provided project financing worth over Sh1.27 billion (US$ 11 Million) worth of projects in Kenya in the last 5 years, funding that has gone into COVID-19, response to drought and floods, peacebuilding and conflict prevention and enhancing legal identity,” said Mr Walid Badawi.

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