NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Kenya Breweries Limited’s environmental staff-driven initiative, Kijani, embarked on the last phase of its Mt. Kenya Forest restoration programme, that commenced in April last year.
The team of 40 staff, in partnership with Nature Kenya and 5 Community Forest Associations (CFAs) in the area, namely Hombo, Kabaru, Naro Moru, Gathiuru and Ngare- Ndare, kicked off the final league of the programme by planting 2500 tree seedlings.
Speaking during the function, Kijani’s Patron and KBL’s Finance Director, Ms. Kinya Kimotho, expressed the company’s commitment to environmental conservation.
“We are proud to have come this far with this restoration programme. Our commitment last year was to restore 250 acres of the Mt Kenya Forest, by planting 100,000 trees. So far, we have planted 47,000 tree seedlings and we plan to complete the balance of 53,000 trees by the end of this tree planting season,” she said.
Ms. Kimotho added that the project not only contributed to reforestation but has also supported over 30,000 beneficiaries so far around the Mt. Kenya Forest.
“Through our partnership with Nature Kenya, we have been working closely with 5 CFAs who produced the seeds, planted them and nurtured the trees. We supported them by providing farming inputs such as wheelbarrows, pangas, water tanks, watering cans, rakes, etc.” continued Ms. Kimotho.
“The Mt. Kenya Forest is a critical ecosystem that we are committed to protect through our conservation efforts. It not only provides water to key national parks, but generates half of the country’s total hydropower and supplies 95pc of Nairobi’s water. These three are vital to Kenya’s economic development, food security and energy generation,” she concluded.
The rehabilitation of Mt. Kenya Forest is one of the many environmental projects that KBL has conducted over the years. This is a key pillar in their elaborate sustainability strategy geared towards promoting environmental conservation. So far, KBL has planted and nurtured over one million tree seedlings, with a success rate of 85 percent.
Data from Global Forest Watch released in its 2015-2016 report indicated that the world had lost more than 400,000 square kilometres of forest cover. 15 percent of carbon emissions recorded in 2017 were attributed to the rate of deforestation.
In Kenya, the forest cover stands at 7 percent, which the government is seeking to double by the year 2022. This will be done by planting more than 1 million trees by 2022, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The Assembly also adopted the resolution for the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme.
The day now serves as an annual reminder for everyone around the world to do something for the environment. It is aimed at encouraging awareness and action on the need for environmental preservation; this year’s theme is #BeatPlasticPollution.