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MMUST Officially Launches Tree Planting Initiative in Kakamega Forest as It Leads the ‘Green Revolution’ Across the Country

MMUST has today, 3 June, 2024 officially launched a tree planting initiative in Kakamega forest as it takes the lead in championing the ‘green revolution’ across the country. The tree planting exercise, which took place near Lianungu village, was attended by a number of stakeholders including the Western Region Forest Service, Youth for Green Action Kenya- MMUST Chapter, Kenya Red cross- MMUST Chapter, St. John’s Ambulance- MMUST Chapter and the community around Lianungu. The event was graced by the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Planning Research and Innovation- Prof. Josephine Ngaira who was representing the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Mutai.

This tree planting event attracted a diverse crowd eager to contribute to the reforestation effort. The initiative aimed not only to bolster the forest’s ecosystem but also to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation. The impressive number of participants who braved the scorching sun to plant trees was a vibrant display of community spirit and environmental stewardship.

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Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Planning Research and Innovation- Prof. Josephine Ngaira waters the tree she planted.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Ngaira commended the participants for their noble effort of planting trees, highlighting the critical role of young people and the community members in fostering sustainable practices. “Today, as we plant these 2700 tree seedlings on the 5 acres of land allocated to MMUST, we are also planting the seeds of hope and resilience for our future generations. The tree growing initiative is in tandem with Sustainable Development Goal number 13 which urges action to combat climate change and its impacts. This collaborative spirit is what we need to restore Kakamega Forest, the only remaining Tropical Rain Forest in East Africa,’’ she remarked.

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Deputy Regional Forest Officer (Western), Mr. Fredrick Ashiono speaks at the event.

Concurring with Prof. Ngaira on the critical importance of restoration of Kakamega Forest, the Deputy Regional Forest Officer (Western), Mr. Fredrick Ashiono, pointed out that the Kakamega Forest Service will ensure the great Kakamega Forest regains its former glory. “Each tree we plant today represents a step towards a healthier environment and preventing the indigenous trees from extinction. We are not only enhancing the beauty of the biodiversity of our precious ecosystem, but also preserving our culture for future generations.,” he noted.

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Participants in action.

“The University had earlier facilitated the Local Community to plant 2300 trees as part of its commitment towards restoring the degraded sections of Kakamega Forest. This means that if we add the 2700 trees planted today, MMUST has planted a total of 5000 trees,” said the Coordinator, MMUST Greening Initiative- Dr. James Owuor. He added that MMUST is engaging with the Local Community to ensure that the trees planted today are well taken care of up to maturity.

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Coordinator, MMUST Greening Initiative- Dr. James Owuor shares a moment with community members.

Citing Sustainable Development Goal number 17 which focuses on partnerships and collaborations for sustainable development, the Dean School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance- Dr. Ferdinand Nabiswa, urged the participants to constantly engage in partnerships for climate action. This was supported by the Registrar, Planning Research and Innovation- Dr. Collins Matemba who encouraged the locals to continue growing trees even in their own homes.

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Registrar, Planning Research and Innovation- Dr. Collins Matemba and Prof. Alice Ndiema plant a tree at Kakamega Forest.

Other notable personalities from MMUST who were present at the event were; Prof. Judah Ndiku, Prof. Alice Ndiema, Dr. Fr. Kizito Muchanga, Dr. Rose Opiyo, Dr. Issah Kweyu, Dr. Daniel Otanga, Dr. Evans RaballahDr. Jairus Odawa, Dr. Philip Ogutu, Dr. Peter Cherop, Mr. Oscar Waswa, Ms. Elina Otanga, Ms. Laura Buyanzi, Ms. Caroline Wafula, Mr. Canon Odhiambo, Mr. Alan Anguba, Ms. Mildred Ingado, and Mr. Daudi Kioko.

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Community members join MMUST to plant trees at Kakamega Forest.

Indeed, MMUST’s initiative of tree planting at Kakamega Forest, underscores the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its efforts to support the National Agenda on Climate Change.

By Dr. Lydia Anyonje and Stephanie Jane Akinyi 

Photos by Shiundu Masafu 

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