“It is the little things that citizens do that will make a difference, my little thing is planting trees”-Wangari Maathai. Just like the late Wangari Maathai COP too has chosen to do this little thing. The Community Outreach Programme has undertaken tree planting initiatives in the last three years in a bid to lend a helping hand to the preservation of Kenya’s Water Catchment areas plagued by saw milling activities and forest fires. All this is part of COP’s Environmental chapter.
Kereita forest is located in Limuru and is part of the Aberdare range. The forest has been undergoing rehabilitation after a decade of saw milling which left most of the forest bare. Since 2010 COP members undertook tree exercises as part of their community week agenda. Students have so far managed to plant 20,250 seedlings of indigenous trees at Kereita forest. The same resolve was employed again in 2012 after receiving a generous donation from Kenya’s own Hashi energy ltd an oil marketing company and Coopers K Brand ltd (animal health co.).
Another region that has benefited from the initiative is Sasamua dam, a rehabilitated dam in Aberdare region of Nyahururu County. Tree planting is a means used in the rehabilitation of the dam to attain a sustainable water catchment area to tap sufficient water all year round. The initiative first took place in 2010 and again in 2011 with contributions from Cooper’s k brand, GIBBS Africa ltd, Sino hydro, Nairobi city water and Athi river water services board. The volunteers included COP members, Strathmore staff and the community from around Sasumua dam who were able to plant a total of 24,000 indigenous trees.
In the future COP hopes to hold more tree planting exercises twice a year to coincide with the two rainy seasons in the country