Greening Kenya, a new initiative to help reforest Kenya, launched at the Starehe Boys Centre on June 3, 2017. The initiative also goes by the Social Media savvy moniker #GreeningKe.
Wangari Maathai burst onto the international stage when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004 for her work in fighting for environmental causes. The most well-known of these was her work with the Green Belt Movement which ensured that trees were planted around the country. Her wish was to see her Kenya get forest cover to ensure that we were living in a more habitable environment. She passed on in September 2011 leaving a sad population wondering if her legacy of getting a greener Kenya would be upheld.
On Saturday June 3, the Starehe Boys Centre in Nairobi was the site of the birth of Greening Kenya an initiative trying to keep up the Wangari Maathai legacy. The initiative was started by public relations and media practitioners called You PR People. The group started as a WhatsApp group filled with banter and get-togethers filled with much merriment in some of Nairobi’s more well-known night spots.
They decided that they will not go down as the group that is only known for partying but to have something else in their quiver. They picked on the environment as their initiative would be to plant and maintain at least 100,000 trees in the next one year. Called Greening Kenya or #GreeningKe the project coordinated by Fred Gori, Oscar Kimani, Shose Oyalo, Charles Ngunjiri, Karen Mbugua, Corrie Mwende, Winnie Gor and Amos Rono would kick off its activities at the Starehe Boys Centre.
The event emceed by Oscar Kimani started with an address by #GreeningKe coordinator Fred Gori as well as the resident forester. The event was headlined by Isaac Kalua the chair of the Green Africa Foundation as well as the chairman of the Kenya Water Towers Agency. Kalua congratulated the team for their new initiative and wished them all the best. You can see the beginning part of the ceremony below; please note that the address by Kalua starts at the 18 minute mark.
The formal part of the ceremony ended with a note of thanks from Lilian Nganda who is the secretary of the Public Relations Society of Kenya. Also giving an address was Juliana Rotich who was there in her own capacity as a Kenyan who wishes to see a greener Kenya and as a member of the Visions 2030 board. You can hear her giving the address below;
With the speech giving over the real work begun with people heading out to plant the trees. It was digging, planting and watering fest in there as everyone did their best to ensure that the 400 trees available got comfortable in their new homes. Even musician Juliani joined in on the fun which included families with kids doing their part. With the high school boys at Starehe doing their bit and the kids helping, the future is looking bright for a greener Kenya.
You can follow the new initiative at https://twitter.com/greeningKe
Here are more images from the event.