Ruto eyes 28 per cent forest cover in seven years

President Dr William Ruto speaking at Nyayo Stadium Nairobi on Monday, December 12, 2022, during the Jamhuri Day Celebrations. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

President William Ruto has set an ambitious target to increase Kenya's forest cover to 28 per cent from the current 8.8 per cent by 2030 as part of efforts to curb the country’s exposure to climate change.

Dr Ruto said during Jamhuri Day celebrations on Monday that his administration plans to grow 15 billion trees on 11 million hectares of land across the country to offset lost trees and shield communities from the adverse effects of the harsh climate.

The State will rely on public administrators to plant at least 3,000 trees weekly to achieve the ambitious plan that is part of the country’s Vision 2030 which targets to move Kenya to a middle-income nation.

“Every chief shall dedicate at least one day per week for a public baraza and tree planting drive in which the public will be mobilised to plant and grow at least 3,000 trees weekly, within their respective locations,” said the President

“Each Assistant County Commissioner, Deputy County Commissioner, County Commissioner and Regional Commissioner shall file monthly returns on these targets to the Ministry of Interior.”

Under the plan, the National government will also collaborate with Nairobi County to plant at least 1.5 million trees to restore the city's lost glory of being the “Green City in the Sun”.

The President said that the Ministry of Environment will provide free tree seedlings to the public through public institutions like schools and provincial administration offices.

Rising demand for wood products continues to frustrate Kenya’s efforts to attain the UN-recommended minimum forest cover of 10 per cent.

Data from the World Bank indicates that Kenya has a forest cover of 8.8 per cent.

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