Linda Mazingira, Busia Gov’t Launch Sh2 M Treee Planting In Honour Of Covid-19 Victims

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By Reuben Olita

Linda Mazingira Initiative (LMI) in partnership with the County Government of Busia, Kenya Forest Service, KEFRI and Healing tree Initiative today launched the planting of 2million trees to give hope to families which lost their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the press after the planting of 1,500 tree seedlings at St Antony Okatekok Primary School in Chakol South Ward, LMI Coordinator, Patrick Ikwara urged communities, NGOs and the government to plant trees in honour of those who lost their loved ones to COVID-19.

” We also encourage tree growing and food security in schools and concerted efforts for protection of water towers like hilltops, riverbanks and wetlands,” he said.

Mr Ikwara appealed to the school community, pupils, teachers and the staff to take care of the trees and help them grow, noting that livestock invasion in schools destroy tree seedlings.

Healing Trees is non-profit making global collaborative movement that aims to plant more than 5 million trees around the world in memory of people who have died from COVID-19.

It was born in Costarica in January 2022 by Fundación San Ramón Carbon Neutral with aim of honouring the loss of loved ones and sending a message of hope to families and friends and anyone who is experiencing grieving processes. The tree symbolizes life.

Currently the movement has a presence in 30 countries around the world, Kenya included, and has almost 3 million tree planting commitments with an ambitious goal of surpassing 5 million trees in the world.

Unlike other initiatives, Healing Trees goes beyond a day of planting. This initiative promotes, in addition to native species, the planting of fruit trees so that they can offer their nutrients to communities.

“After planting, we ask each partner to take care of the trees for at least three years so that they grow strong in honor of the lives lost to this pandemic,” Mr Ikwara said.

Amukura Central Ward MCA aspirant Paul Okello, an alumni of the school, lauded the tree planting initiative, urging pupils to ensure they plant some trees at their homes to boost the county’s tree cover.

Teso South Forest Officer, Elijah Oyugi who is also in charge of Matayos, Nambale and Butula, urged communities to embrace onfarm tree planting which entails replacing trees that have been cut.

” There is pressure on natural trees, thus the need to intensify afforestion efforts by planting more natural trees including bamboo. This will reduce pressure that threatens depletion of natural trees,”he noted.

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