Rachel Ruto’s Mama Doing Good starts initiative to empower pupils in environmental conservation
But now, Wanjiru, a grade five pupil at Emaiyan primary school located Narok North in Narok County understands the importance of trees and has developed interest and passion in environment conservation.
She is among other pupils from 30 Primary schools who have trained on tree nursery management and growing of trees during the launch of Environmental clubs in primary schools, at Maasai Mara University under Mama Doing Good, being implemented by office of First Lady Rachael Ruto.
Through the Environmental clubs, pupils across the county are learning how to prepare seedlings in nurseries, planting and taking care of them till they mature. She now urges fellow pupils to plant more trees, which is the solution to negative impacts of climate change.
Speaking during the launch, Mamo Boru Mamo, Director General of National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), said that environmental education is an essential tool to achieve sustainability.
“Environmental education allows us to acquire the desired knowledge skills attitude and values that we need to protect our environment. And these are very important issues we need to address and they are necessary to shape our future to inculcate in our children that there is need to protect the environment,” he said.
He also pointed out that NEMA is working closely with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, KICD to ensure mainstreaming of environmental issues in our curriculum.
Boru underscored the importance of empowering learners with knowledge to develop positive attitude towards environmental issues.
Professor Penninah Aloo, Vice Chancellor Maasai Mara University said the world faces unprecedented challenges from climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss and it is imperative that we equip youth with knowledge and skill to address this urgent and pressing issues.
Dawson Mudenyo, Director Faith Diplomacy in the Office of the First Lady Rachael Ruto reiterated that the government of Kenya is committed to increase forest cover by hitting the target of 15bilion trees by end of 2032.
He applauded the University for the visionary strategy which prioritizes the conservation of among others Maasai Mara reserve, Mara River, Mau forest and Mau culture.
He reiterated that, this holistic approach to the ecosystem restoration in the South Rift region is commendable and sets a precedent for sustainable development.
“Today, as we launch the first school beneficiaries for the Centre for Excellence in nursery management, we reaffirm our dedication in nurturing generations of restoration champions by engaging learners. By targeting integrating environmental education into schools, we equip our youths with the knowledge and skills to become stewards of our plants. Schools play pivotal role in this endeavour as we provide a background for experimental learning and knowledge transfer,” explained Mudenyo, as he challenged learners trained in the program to ensure the survival of trees they planted.
Prof Francis Mburu, Dean, School of Natural Resources, Environmental Studies and Agriculture, revealed that Maasai Mara University has developed a learning manual that will be used to guide people on how to start a nursery, to grow trees and to make a follow up.
“The nursery has about 350,000 seedlings, but our target by end of this year we will be crossing over to one million in the spirit of providing climate action and greening Narok County,” Prof Mburu said.
According to conservation experts, trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. Also, during the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe.
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