The tree planting exercise on 21st December 2022, along Ushirika Road in Karen was led by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), State Department of Roads, and Siham Limited – the Contractor who had been awarded the tender to construct the new tarmac road. In the event, The Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK), a key stakeholder, expressed a great motivation and sense of duty towards making the environment friendly through increasing forest cover within the institution’s surroundings.
The KURA Asst. Director Engineer Nicholas Chelugo emphasised on the need to protect the environment through tree-planting and expressed the fundamental objective of KURA projects is to ensure sustainable development. He added that the significance of the activity was to develop an approach towards a climate-resilient infrastructure and attain the goal of ensuring that carbon-sinking initiatives are executed with the support accorded to the KURA by the Government of Kenya.
Mr. Chelugo noted that about 3500 tree seedlings had been planted within Nairobi County, wherever KURA had been engaged in infrastructure projects. He gave an example of Likoni Road, where 1800 seedlings were planted the previous week. “Today we are going to plant 900 tree seedlings along Ushirika road, and this aligns with the Kenya Forest Service objective of attaining 20% tree cover by 2030” said Mr. Chelugo.
Kenya Forest Service (KFS), represented by Mr. Martin Mutie, applauded the initiative of KURA and expressed the strategic need to plant trees, especially on the day the President of Kenya, H.E. Dr. William Ruto, was celebrating his 56th birthday. He added that a similar tree-planting exercise was taking place at Ngong Forest, where over 10,000 tree seedlings were to be planted to mark the day, indicating the President’s great interest in increasing tree cover. The words of Mr. Mutie were supported by Mr. Adulnasir, a representative from the State Department of Roads who expressed gratitude for such an initiative. He lauded the contractor’s idea of planting trees along Ushrika road as a gesture of concern for the environment.
Through the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Njogu, the University thanked the involved stakeholders in the tree planting exercise. Mr. Njogu relayed the inspirational message from Mr. Chris Kathoka, Registrar Division of Finance, Planning and Administration, that the University has a culture of tree planting and that a serene environment would support the learning and research work.
“CUK at heart has the interest and immeasurable support for tree planting. As an institution of higher learning, we have shouldered our responsibility and will continue cooperating with organizations like KFS and KURA to ensure our environments are protected through such exercises.” Mr. Njogu also appreciated the participation of CUK students through the Student Governing Council President, Collins Otundo, and their action toward the event’s success.