NAIROBI, Kenya May 13 – Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Sicily Kariuki want Kenyans to embrace planting fruit trees in order to contribute to the Big 4 agenda on food security.
She says this will also help increase Kenya’s forest cover from seven percent to ten percent as envisaged by the government.
The Cabinet Secretary made the remarks at Nyumba ya Wazee in Kasarani when she flagged off lorries to distribute about 800,000 fruit seedlings to Kiambu, Kajiado, Kirinyaga, Baringo and Machakos Counties.
“Indeed, I am privileged to be flagging off about 800,000 seedlings ready to be planted across the country in various counties, and as I do this, my colleagues, the county commissioners in Pekera and Mwea are also flagging off fruit trees to be planted within their areas,” she said.
The CS said this initiative follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that all parastatals set aside 10 per cent of their Corporate Social Responsibility budgets towards tree planting.
The CS also planted the first Hass Avocado seedling at the Nyumba ya Wazee farm. She also donated food stuffs, sanitizers and gloves worth about 300,000 courtesy of National Irrigation Authority and Water Trust Fund to the home which is taking care of 74 elderly people.
She said the seedlings will be given to organised women groups and youth groups across the country.
“It is time such as this when the world has been challenged because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the floods that we need to come together and bring the most vulnerable members of the society at the middle of our decision making and interventions,” said the CS.
Since the inception of the initiative in 2018, a total of 4.7 million seedlings are being raised in four schemes namely Mwea, Pekerra, Ahero and Bura. Last year a total of 360,000 seedlings were distributed across various counties.