Maasai Mara University Scale-Up Conservation Efforts

Maasai Mara University is piloting 20 environmental clubs in primary schools within Narok in the institution’s ambitious plan of putting up a forest in all learning centres.

The institution’s Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Peninah Aloo said this at Aitong Primary School during the celebrations of World Forest Day, where the institution donated and planted 2500 trees at the school compound.

‘You can imagine what kind of a forest we will have if all the trees grow. We are doing this in schools so as to impact the young learners on the culture of planting trees,’ she said, adding that the programme will be extended to all learning institutions including secondary schools and colleges in the county.

She said the university is leading by example because they understand the numerous benefits that come with the conservation of the environment, among them: attracting rainfall, purifying the environment, source of medicine and serving as a natural habitat of many animals.

‘Our motto is, ‘train a child on ways to
go and when they grow up they will not divert from it’. We are sure that when these children grow up, they will continue with the passion of planting trees,’ she added.

The VC reiterated that they are working closely with the office of the First Lady Mama Rachael Ruto in supporting her ambitious initiative of planting over 500 million tree seedlings by 2032.

‘In August 2023, the First Lady launched 15 nurseries for fruit and tree nurseries at the university. By then, we had only 3,000 tree seedlings. However, after the launch, we have increased the nursery beds and we have over 100,000 tree and fruit seedlings,’ she reiterated.

‘Right now we are trying to make the best tree and fruit nursery beds at the university so that we can be a model center where the other universities come for benchmarking,’ the professor said.

This is one of the directives of our president to plant over 15 billion trees. If we do that, by 2032, the forest cover will have grown from 12.3 per cent to 30 percent, she continued.

In M
aasai Mau forest, the university has adapted 250 acres where we are planning to grow trees. We will engage the university staff, the students and the community so that together, we can grow in the culture of conserving the environment.

At the university, she underscored, there are researchers working to restore the Mara Ecosystem that had greatly been destroyed by human activities.

Narok County Commissioner Kipkech Lotiatia raised concern over the rampant charcoal burning in the county saying they are vigilant to arrest those who cut down trees illegally.

He lauded the Maasai Mara University for leading in the planting of trees and asked all the residents to follow the example to plant more trees.

‘The target of the government is to plant 15 billion trees in the country by the year 2032, we are going to do serious barazas to ensure we sensitize our people on tree planting. I thank the good working relationship between the county and national government as it is fostering quick services to wananchi,’ he sa

Narok Governor’s wife Dr. Agnes Ntutu asked the residents to embrace the tree planting programme saying it does not only concern the university but all the residents.

‘If we grow trees, our county will look very beautiful and we will mitigate the effects of climate change. Before, we could easily predict the weather patterns, but nowadays, it is difficult because of climate change,’ added the county’s first lady.

Source: Kenya News Agency