Tree planting at Karura

Genge_artist_Nonini_aka_Hubert_Nakitare_planting_a_seedling_572307083.jpgThe Green Generation Campaign is an initiative by 98.4 Capital Fm, in partnership with The Green Belt Movement and the European Union to plant 10 million trees by 2010.

The first phase of this project took place on Saturday September 5th at Karura forest where the Capital Fm team, listeners, schools and celebrities and its clients took part in a tree planting exercise. Over 400 people came out on an early Saturday morning to rehabilitate a section of Karura forest that had been burnt previously.

The tree planting exercise was supported by Dasani water, Excloosive toilets and Twende magazine. Other partners such as the Village Market and Tribe Hotels will support the initiative by providing water to sustain the tree seedlings planted.

Those who turned up for the exercise clearly felt a deep sense of responsibility in playing their part to rehabilitate Kenya’s forest cover. This currently stands at 3% of our total land area, while the UN recommends a forest cover of at least 10% per country. It is no wonder Kenya is experiencing drought and water shortages.
The crowd was a mix of corporate groups, students, celebrities –and even slum dwellers. Of noteworthy presence was the British High Commissioner Rob Macaire, the Chairman of the Capital Group, Chris Kirubi (a.k.a popular DJ CK), and celebrities such as Nazizi, Nonini, Kenzo, Ian Mbugua amongst others. Educational institutions such as Loreto Msongari, St Mary’s School, the University of Nairobi, and the Kenya College of Accountants were all well represented

After over 2200 trees had been planted, the KWS Wardens invited the teams to a short hike on the nature trail that leads to the Karura falls and the Mau Mau caves.

The pleasant walk over the trail was a respite from noisy city life. The wild setting of this nature trail is quite unique. It evokes a feeling of being on a joy ride in a sports car! Every twist and turn offers fresh excitement, and pleasurable surprises.

planting_512902114.jpgAlong one of those meandering paths, was an interesting ‘old nurse log’ – a fallen tree sprouting with new life, decaying even as it feeds the next generation.
Guided through the paths by the KWS wardens, we moved deeper into the thick forest, that had barricades that closed off the main path, and soon veered off to make a quick turn downwards towards the Mau Mau caves.

As the route drops into a wetter bottomland valley, snaking quickly beneath the diverse canopy of old-growth trees, I could feel the warm temperature cooling in the surroundings. Down there, the view was breathtaking, and for a moment I didn’t feel like I was in Nairobi at all. The calm, clear flow of the river coupled with the sound of chirping birds was the climax of my walk through the trail.

Along the soggy valley were the Mau Mau caves that were huge and pitch dark. Some hikers seemed to be having fun in the hollow caves, until they discovered that there were bats inside –which was enough to send all the ladies out screaming.

Moving on ahead along the trail going up stream, the river became even more enticing –but not enough to go for a dip! One could notice that the volume of water in the river had drastically dropped, due to the detraction of part of the forest upland, where the river flows from. The water was flowed more like a stream, than a river.

I thought I had seen the best features of Karura forest, until I come to the opening to the Karura falls. The sight was just like a stroll through to a whole new world. At this point, the water was even clearer, with huge climbing plants creating remarkable artistic pieces of art! Further, the sun’s rays come out beautifully as they cut through the trees…
Once rested, it was time to climb back up the valley, holding on to a barricade bordered by a carpet of green trees, peppered with plant identification signs. It was a short walk from there back to the trailhead, completing the two-mile loop.

The Nature Trail is an example of how the natural environment can coexist and thrive in close proximity to highways, shopping centers, and homes. We, the Capital Group encourage listeners, readers and fans to explore the Karura forest.

Let us conserve our environment.

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