The Kenya Red Cross Society in partnership with various government departments has launched a tree planting challenge to encourage Kenyans to plant ecologically suitable tree species. More than 250,000 people are expected to participate in the initiative that will contribute immensely in growing trees in degraded ecosystems and restore water catchments and river basins.
By planting five million trees in one hour, the country aims to break the current world record of 2.29 million trees planted in one hour by TreeVolution, an NGO in Philippines, in September 2014.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu said in a statement:
To realize the goal of planting 2.5 Billion trees by 2030, the Ministry partners’ and stakeholders will undertake various initiatives, one of them being the planting of marathon five Million trees in one hour in early November 2016. Kenya’s current forest cover of two percent falls below the global convention of 10 percent, and with increasing poverty, demand for arable land and rapid population growth, the situation is deemed to get worse. The project will also increase the capacity to adapt to the impact of climate change combat desertification, guarantee water, food security and livelihoods by conserving water catchments.
Kenya Red Cross Society is also launching a mobile application called Adopt-A-Tree powered by GPS and social technologies to allow anybody from anywhere in the world to plant a tree, with an option to select designated locations in Kenya by paying $3.5 per tree.