As the world marked the International Day of Co-operatives on July 4, 2020, the movement in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) commemorated the day through a tree planting exercise at Ngong Road Forest.
The theme of the celebration was ‘Coops for Climate Action’, a move that has instigated youths to run a subsequent climate action awareness week, aimed at creating a noble course.
Led by KFS Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Julias Kamau, the youths’ initiative dubbed ‘Go Green Kenya’ has seen tree planting exercise take place throughout the week.
"We have planted 50 commemorative indigenous trees and we thank the CCF for facilitating our tree planting exercise at Ngong Road Forest Station. We shall further adopt the trees and ensure that they grow by regularly maintaining them." Said Samuel Oloo, a representative of the Youth Group.
The initiative was led by youths from KFS, International Cooperative Alliance of Africa and Mutarakwa Harmony Cooperative.
Mr. Kamau said KFS, “recognizes efforts by such youth-led Coops for contributing to conservation and equally calls on Kenyans to embrace a tree growing culture towards the protection of our environment.”
He added that by taking such initiatives, the country will be in a position to mitigate the adverse climate change, and secure the future for the present and next generations.
The move comes amid disputes of the Ngong Forest cover and the illegally acquired land that has been rocking the country for weeks.
The government is moving towards reclaiming the illegally acquired land inside Ngong Forest.
The Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said on Monday that about 132 acres that several estates sit on were earmarked for a school but were grabbed.
CS Tobiko reiterated government stance to the National Assembly Committee on Environment, chaired by Kareke Mbiuki.
“The government will repossess all forest land grabbed by powerful people in this country. We will not look at the tribe, political party affiliation or social status. We must protect our forests from illegal encroachment,” Mr Tobiko added.
The CS said the gazette notice issued by Environment minister Francis Lotodo in 1998, though illegal, clearly indicated that the 132-acre section of the forest ended up in the hands of powerful individuals.
“You cannot excise forest land which is public property and give it to private individuals. The law states that any part of de-gazetted forest land must be used for public activity or amenity,” Mr Tobiko said.