National Bank launches tree planting initiative in Kirinyaga County

Kenya’s closed canopy forests covers 6pc of the total land area due to depletion mainly by illegal logging activities and fire. (Image: Courtesy)

National Bank has completed the planting 100,000 trees in Kirinyaga County as part of the Bank’s effort to plant and sustain 2 million trees across the country by the end of 2017.

The tree planting initiative is a step towards supporting Kenya’s environmental conservation and addressing the challenges of rapid environmental degradation in the country.

Speaking during the ceremony, National Bank’s Managing Director Munir Ahmed said the tree planting initiative in Kirinyaga County is part of the Bank’s contribution to national development and improving the well-being of the communities through increasing the forest cover in the country.

“At National Bank we understand that we have a responsibility to our society and sustaining the environment through planting trees is one among the many ways we shall ensure that our environment is protected. Our efforts aim to increase Kenya’s forest cover to the desirable standards and protect the environment for present and future generations,” said Mr. Munir.

Kenya’s closed canopy forests covers 6pc of the total land area.

Due to deforestation which has been taking place, the forest cover has progressively been reducing and there must be a concerted effort of the Government, Corporates and individuals to ensure that we get to the internationally recommended minimum of 10pc forest cover.

On his part, the Governor for Kirinyaga County Joseph K. Ndathi lauded the Bank’s efforts towards partnering with the County to increase the forest cover considering that the main economic activity for local residents is agriculture.

“We are very pleased by the efforts of National Bank by going beyond their business and encouraging the local residents of Kirinyaga towards embracing and supporting the county’s environmental conservation and sustainability efforts. I therefore, urge the residents to support this noble initiative and help in sustaining the trees,” said Mr. Ndathi.

Mr. Ahmed also added that the bank is targeting to plant 500,000 tree seedlings annually across the bank’s branches to meet the two million mark in the next three years.

In 2013, the Bank rolled out a campaign across the bank’s branch network with a target to plant and sustain over two million trees all over Kenya by 2017. The campaign, dubbed ‘Plant a Tree for a Better Life,’ was officially launched at Karura Forest on the outskirts of Nairobi by Her Excellency the First Lady, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta.