KTDA Foundation joined the Green Space Community Based Organization on Saturday, 21st Nov 2020 for a tree planting activity at The Rukenya Dam, Gichugu in Kirinyaga County where 8,000 indigenous tree seedlings were planted. The Foundation through Kimunye Tea Factory donated 5300 indigenous trees. Other partners included Kenya Forest Service, NetFund, Kenya Water Towers Agency, Britam and Credit Bank.
The Rukenya Dam was developed to improve irrigation facilities to provide a stable supply of water required by agriculture around the Mt. Kenya area.
The tree planting activity is part of a project dubbed Empowering Rural Communities and Household with Renewable Energy (ERCHRE) being implemented by the KTDA Foundation across KTDA’s tea-growing areas that aims to promote climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building not only among smallholder tea farmers for sustainable tea production but also the agricultural sector at large. The tree seedlings have been donated by Kimunye Tea Factory, which is managed by KTDA.
Speaking during the tree planting, Kenya Forest Service Rukenya Dam, Gichugu Constituency area Forester, Monica Masibo, commended KTDA for showing commitment to conserving the environment. She said, “We are proud to facilitate this tree planting exercise that has seen various organizations like KTDA Foundation joining in. It shows the value that the organization places on environmental conservation. We still have a lot of work to do to achieve desirable forest cover, and wish to encourage more corporates to come in and support the government in its drive to improve forest cover as a key strategy in fighting climate change.”
KTDA Foundation Manager, Sudi Matara said, “One of the pillars of the KTDA Foundation is environmental sustainability, which has become a key driver not only in the agriculture sector but for the economy at large. This tree planting exercise today forms part of our vision to plant 2.6 million trees across tea growing areas. We are committed to ensuring improved ecological conditions for tea growing for improved livelihoods for our farmers.”
Also commenting on the activity, Green Space Community Based Organization’s Patron, Mr Benard Kibanya, said their organization has been involved in forest restoration of the Mount Kenya region for many years and expressed gratitude for the seedlings donation. “We want to thank the KTDA Foundation and their factories for supporting our objectives. The Mt Kenya forest continues to face threats due to expanded human activity, which has affected the ecology of the area, which has further negatively impacted the livelihoods of the residents here who mostly rely on agriculture. We wish to encourage more corporates to make contributions to our successful projects to safeguard the economy regionally and for the Nation as a whole.”
Green Spaces Community Based Organization’s forest restoration projects with KFS all involve local communities who are the direct beneficiaries of the project and from the impacts of improved environmental ecosystems. KTDA Foundation has in the last 5 years been engaged in a fruit tree growing campaign involving primary and secondary schools, with the aim of inculcating a culture of a tree growing among that demographic.