February 11, 2023
In line with H.E. President William Ruto's conservatory 15 billion tree growing initiative over the next 10 years, JEPAK launched its response at Katheka Primary School, Kitui County on Saturday February, 11th 2023.
Trees play a critical role in an ecosystem; they help in maintaining the ecological balance and equilibrium, creating a healthy environment for all to co-exist.
Kenya is currently facing the worst drought in 40 years attributed to various factors with one being deforestation. Kitui county faces severe climate conditions and has tree coverage of 7% against the national average requirement of 10% or more.
According to Martin Alube, one of the JEPAK members who attended this excursion, "this was truly a team effort that included members of JEPAK, JICA staff, Government representatives including the Chief, Education Officer, the entire Katheka school management, parents & students. It was a humbling experience that had all stakeholders fully participate in the planting and care of the trees to ensure the best outcomes.
It was amazing to see the joy and enthusiasm of the children when they each planted their trees as directed by Dr. Bernard Kigwa from KEFRI who is also a JEPAK member and had overseen the whole exercise.
The exercise saw a total of over 1,000 forest trees and over 150 fruit trees planted. With careful monitoring and care, we look forward & anticipate that Katheka Primary will be a center of excellence, not just in academic achievement but raise the next generation of climate change champions.