The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. (William Arthur Ward).
Kenya has an amazing development plan and very good laws and policies on forest conservation and the environment. However, the country continues to experience unsustainable high rates of forests loss.
There is still a call for the rehabilitation of our water towers; The Mau escarpment, Mt. Kenya, Aberdares Range, Cheregani Hills and Mt. Elgon.
According to Kenya’s Development blueprint, The Vision 2030, the goal on the Social pillar on Environment was and still is to increase forest cover from less than 3% at present to 4% and to lessen half of the environmental problems. The flagship project on this subject included the water catchment initiative.
The thing is, there have been a lot of campaigns on tree planting but I am going to be a realist and say this, planting trees alone cannot help! The campaigns on tree planting are good but trees can only be beneficial when they withstand early hazards, which make post-planting care and maintenance crucial. For a strong tree planting campaign, I suggest that we not only focus as a country on planting trees alone but also ensure that the trees grow. What I mean is that a successful tree planting must begin with putting into consideration that; not all trees are healthy, Assessment of an area should be done before planting trees and there should be monitoring of the planted trees. This means that we should ensure that we are planting trees that are of good quality and that will grow strong, we should assess an area to understand what tree does well where and also we should have people observing the progress of the trees planted. The idea here is to follow up that we do not only plant trees but we should ensure they grow.
We are part of the ambitious nations who are working towards halting deforestation by 2020, which is two years from now. By achieving this, it will not only be a victory for the environmentalist especially the environmental activists but also our future generations will get to enjoy this resource. A healthy environment will boost the social economic development of this country in very many ways. This could also help us get back on our feet in being very productive in the agriculture sector and addressing the issue on food security. However, this looks very good in writing and on papers but this requires hard working institutions that will spearhead this campaign of increasing our forest cover. The Government of Kenya should ensure that there is no loophole. Those in office should practice integrity in ensuring that our forest is protected and also stress on the issue of increasing forest cover!
We can and we will through collective action create a green land that we once had. It may not happen fully till after we are gone. But I know that the steps we will take by growing trees are the right steps