ISEC Kenya Plants 303 Indigenous Trees
Author: Charity Chepkoech
Climate change is a global challenge facing our planet. Increased carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses from human activity are key accelerators of climate change. Kenya, like other countries globally, is bearing the consequences of climate change evident in the prolonged drought due to failed consecutive rain seasons, an increase in submerged land due to the rise of water level in lakes and oceans, as well as flooding. This has led to food insecurity, loss of lives, loss of livelihoods, damaged infrastructure and increased insecurity issues in the country. In the fight against climate change, the government and other stakeholders are investing in climate action. ISEC-Kenya joined in the fight against climate change by mobilizing young people to protect riparian areas through planting trees.
The riparian areas are critical to the environment since they act as valuable habitats for various species and are essential in providing ecological functions like carbon sequestration, controlling sediment and nutrient inputs, regulating temperatures in water bodies, providing organic matter for maintaining aquatic biodiversity and maintaining terrestrial biodiversity. Despite their importance, riparian zones in Kenya have been threatened by removal of trees through logging activities to clear the area for settlement and farming. This has the potential to change the long term composition and nature of riparian zones altering normal ecosystem functioning.
ISEC-Kenya recognizes the important role riparian areas within our ecosystems play. Therefore, to kick start our ecosystem restoration project, we executed a tree planting activity on March 22, 2023 at DEB Kangaru School to commemorate the World Water Day. D.E.B Kangaru School is located in a region that is under threats of deforestation making it the perfect site for the activity. This activity was structured to raise awareness on the importance of our ecosystems and how we can conserve them. Through this activity, the participants shared knowledge on climate change, ecosystem restoration, the importance of tree planting and environmental conservation. The inclusive tree planting activity also included a demonstration on how to plant a tree. The tree planting activity was a collaborative effort of the school administration, teachers, students, and our partners, that saw 303 indigenous tree seedling planted in the riparian area within the school compound.
Goals and objectives
The goal of this activity was to enhance action towards climate change adaptation and mitigation by promoting conservation of riparian areas. This was achieved through creating awareness among students and the school community on the composition of riparian vegetation, the role riparian areas play in the ecosystem and how we can protect riparian areas.
Results and outcomes:
303 indigenous tree seedlings were planted in the riparian zone of River Kapingazi that flows within D.E.B Kangaru School.
Inspired environmental stewardship among participants through educating them on the importance of environmental conservation and encouraged them to implement sustainable environmental practices.
Establishment of an environmental club in the school that would help take care of the trees and promote sustainable environmental practices.
This activity serves as a reminder of the importance of sustainable practices and encourages everyone to take action in protecting the environment. We hope to inspire others to participate in similar initiatives and make a positive impact on our planet.
Moving forward, ISEC-Kenya plans to organize a similar activity with communities along River Kapingazi so as to protect the river’s riparian area, as well as organize similar activities in other regions to promote sustainable practices and combat climate change.
Call to action:
It’s no longer about taking action tomorrow. The impacts are already here with us. It’s time to rise up and do what is necessary to fight climate change, now! We encourage everyone to join us in our mission to create a more sustainable planet for our generation and the generations to come.