Nairobi School Tree-Planting Event
On May 10, 2014, over 300 students at Nairobi School teamed up with the Green Belt Movement Staff and the Kenya Defense Force planted over 2,000 trees within the school compound. The event, at the start of the country’s rainy season, is one of many taking place under the joint initiative of the Green Belt Movement to plant 20,000 trees in Nairobi. The school is located on the outskirts of Nairobi, about 11 km from the city center.
The GBM staff shared with students the technical know-how on tree planting as the Principal encouraged them on this special experience and how it should be replicated in their daily lives. Many students said their favorite part of the day was socializing with new friends that is (KDF and GBM staff) while doing something good for the environment.
“Personally, I love the environment,” said a Form 1 Student at Nairobi School, “this activity is very satisfying.”
Some of the surviving trees to date in the school compound were planted by Juhudi Children’s Club which was a school club. In marking the tree-planting event the species planted were Gravillea, Cordia,Podocarpus- oliveira, Prunus Africana and Mugumo tree.
The principle encouraged the students to take care of the seedlings planted and revisit the trees in 5 - 20 years with their children and let them understand the history of the trees planted.
“We don’t often stop to think how important trees are in the environment in which we operate, apart from visual appeal, trees have some very practical benefits: they provide shade, clean air, define recreational areas and generally remain in place for many generations,” this were some of the remarks shared by the school Principle and the Deputy Principle in charge of the Administration.
GBM’s Project Officer, David Mathenge, thanked the students, the Nairobi School Administration and Kenya Defense Force for their role in conserving the environment, as he quoted Prof. Wanagri Maathai...” If you destroy nature, nature will destroy you”. He asked the students to adopt a tree and replicate the tree-planting in their homes and their respective counties so as to mitigate the effects of climate change. The students were tasked to provide post planting care for the seedlings adopted till they leave the school.
Kenya has experienced severe deforestation in recent decades. Fortunately many actors, including various governmental and non-governmental institutions, are realizing the important link between the environment and human well-being. The tree-planting events is part of a larger movement aimed at reversing the negative impacts of deforestation for a cleaner and more prosperous Kenya.
"To the young people I say, you are a gift to your communities and indeed the world. You are our hope and our future."
~ Prof. Wangari Maathai's Nobel Lecture, delivered in Oslo, 10 December 2004.