, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – Kenya on Wednesday launched an ambitious tree planting project that seeks to beat the Guinness World Record by planting five million trees within one hour.
The aim of the exercise slated for early November will be to beat current record held by the Philippines which through an NGO – TreeVolution which planted 2,294,629 trees within an hour in September 2014.
“Kenya is therefore seeking to double that record by planting five million trees. This is certainly a huge feat, but if we stand together for the environment we shall achieve that target,” Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu said when she launched the project.
The tree planting marathon will take place in Kiambere with Tana and Athi River Development Authority providing 5,000 hectares of land in Masinga and Kiambere Dams.
According to the CS, the project will directly respond to the country’s worsening environmental degradation that has interfered with the food security of the country and resulted to acute water shortage in parts of the country.
She explained that the exercise will also contribute to the country’s plans to plant 2.5 billion trees by 2020.
Other people interested in supporting Kenya achieve the 2020 vision can participate through an online platform ‘Adopt-A-Tree App’ to help them monitor the growth of their trees and also record them.
Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Secretary General Abbas Gullet said the five million tree project was intended to increase Kenya’s forest cover by 10 percent.
For the country to achieve the target, he said KRCS had partnered with NGOs, government including the Kenya Defence Forces and the private sector not only to plant the trees but also ensure they grow.
“Breaking the world record is one thing and the number seems to be frightening, those are the things we will be looking into but we have been given approval by the Guinness World Record,” he explained.
As the country prepares to implement the project, Gullet explained that about 70,000 volunteers spread out in the country were ready to support the initiative.
Abbas also announced that Kenya had made a second application seeking to plant 20 million trees during 12 hours of continuous tree planting.
The current world record is held by India which planted about 14 million trees in 12 hours.
However, the request has not yet gone through with hopes that Kenya will achieve the five million trees within an hour.