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Climate Change: Advancing Government's Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign

Climate Change: Advancing Government's Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by  August 03 2023 font size decrease font size increase font size
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By PWanjohi and WMagu 

Climate change affects many areas of life globally and represents a unique challenge for society—and a unique opportunity for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Effective climate change adaptation strategies could lead to improved resilience of communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Resilience to climate impacts and mitigation requires scaled efforts at the government, schools and community levels. The Kenya Government is aware of the dangers of not acting now and, led by the President, has set to plant about 15 billion trees in five years. The Government recently launched the "national tree growing and Restoration Campaign" to increase the tree cover in the Country to 30% by 2032. This will go a long way towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and promoting entrepreneurship regarding seedlings production. 

A tree should never be this lonely

Schools could be the fulcrum around which local communities could start in the development of climate change adaptation strategies. To support the Government efforts, CEMASTEA has committed to establishing a tree nursery and facilitating planting of at least 10,000 tree seedlings by the end of the 2022/23 financial year. Tree planting has been mainstreamed in all primary Center's operations, and a team of officers has been appointed to spearhead implementing the directive. CEMASTEA has been donating and leading tree-planting activities through the STEM outreach program. During these STEM outreach interactions, teachers and students are taken through the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Climate change and then engage in a tree planting exercise. To teach the culture of tree planting, students are trained on effective tree planting; hence they appreciate the importance of tree growing and eventually champion similar actions in their local communities.

Students from Shitoli Secondary School in Kakamega planting trees during a STEM outreach activity conducted by CEMASTEA

In this financial year, the centre has donated more than 5,000 tree seedlings in various schools. This includes Kianyaga High School during the Homecoming Ceremony for Deputy President His Excellency Hon. Rigathi Gachagua. The school, which had been termed "Kalahari" owing to the area's dry conditions, planted trees to provide the school community with an inviting climate and increase tree cover. 

CEMASTEA plans to establish tree nurseries in at least three (3) schools per County. This is expected to boost the production of quality seedlings that will be planted within the schools and community. The schools will act as resource hubs for educating and sensitising community members on the importance of tree growing and restoration. Every citizen is expected to play a role in achieving this ambitious Government's target. CEMASTEA will continue to play its part in tree growth and repair through Education for Sustainable Development programmes in schools. 

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