Prisons offers 2 million seedlings in Ruto’s 15bn trees project


Members of the public plant tree seedlings during the Kaptagat Forest Annual Tree Planting exercise held at Kaptagat Forest in Elgeyo Marakwet County where 11,000 seedlings were planted on July 23, 2021. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

The Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) has boosted President William Ruto’s plan to plant 15 billion trees by making available 2.1 million seedlings.

President Ruto launched a tree restoration programme at Ngong Hills Forest on December 21 to kick-start the plan of planting 15 billion trees by 2032 to grow Kenya’s cover from less than 10 percent to around 30 percent.

Read: Ruto eyes 28 per cent forest cover in seven years

The President also planted 56 trees to mark his 56th birthday, as other counties held similar functions that saw a total of 560,000 trees planted.

President Ruto said the initiative will help combat the effects of climate change, which has unleashed calamities such as droughts, floods, unpredictable rainfall patterns and disease and pest outbreaks.

To support the programme, Prisons said 100,000 seedlings are ready for free. Prisons boss Brigadier (Retired) John Warioba added that two million tree seedlings are available for partners and stakeholders at a subsidised cost.

“We have invigorated our tree seedlings’ capacity by realigning human and financial resources. We have the infrastructure to supply tree seedlings and support tree restoration programmes across Kenya,” he said.

Prisons, he said, will work with partners and stakeholders in the tree restoration programme by offering outsourced services.

“The Officers in Charge and farm managers of our penal institutions who are the subject matter experts have developed programmes that have given inmates skills to engage in tree restoration programmes. Inmates and honourably discharged offenders appreciate the impact of climate change and are ready to support the 15 billion trees restoration programme,” he said.

“Partners and stakeholders can work with inmates or honourably discharged offenders under the Kenya Prison Service supervision to meet their strategic objectives around conserving, restoring, and growing trees’’ said Brigadier (Rtd) Warioba.

He said the seedlings have been developed to suit different ecological and environmental patterns.

Prisons farm managers are prison officers who are skilled and have trained inmates in tree seedlings management and tree restoration.

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