Equity Group Foundation (EGF) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) have joined the University of Nairobi to plant 7,000 trees at various campuses. The tree-planting exercise is in a bid to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

The tree-planting drive coincides with Equity’s ambitious conservation project to plant 35 million trees across the country, and to support the government’s goal of increasing the country’s forest cover to 10% by 2022.

The University of Nairobi (UoN), plants trees annually as part of their environmental rehabilitation efforts. The University received 5,000 seedlings from Equity Group Foundation and 2,000 seedlings from the KFS. The 7,000 trees will be distributed across various campuses based on availability of space including 2,000 trees at the Wangari Mathai Institute of Peace and Environmental Studies, 200 trees in the students’ halls of residence and 400 trees in the College of Biological and Physical Sciences. A further 500 trees will be planted in the School of Law, 200 trees in the School of Business, 700 trees within the UoN estates and 500 trees in the College of Health Sciences. 500 trees will be planted at the University’s Kenya Science Campus and another 2,000 trees at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences.

Speaking during the launch of the initiative, UoN Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama said, “As a university, we recognize that each of us has a big role to play in contributing to environmental conservation. What started out as a plan to plant 200 trees has been up scaled 35 times through our collaboration with Equity Group Foundation and Kenya Forest Service. We are proud to work with like-minded partners in this noble tree planting event and urge all Kenyans to plant a tree this rainy season.”

The 7,000 trees are a mix of indigenous and fruit trees, and are expected to cover at least 5 hectares of land. A preference selection of the trees was made based on their ability to survive longer, their resistance to diseases and the low cost of maintenance.

“By planting trees today, we are securing the future, lives and livelihoods of our children and their children. Equity Group Foundation focuses on promoting the conservation of natural resources through expanding forest cover, improving water security and providing renewable energy and energy sufficient technologies as smart alternatives to traditional and polluting energy sources.” said Polycarp Igathe, Equity Group, Chief Commercial Officer.

By April, 2021, Equity had planted over 4 million trees and distributed 260,000 clean energy products through EGF’s Energy and Environment Pillar. The Group Foundation is set to plant another 5 million trees through its branch network of 190 branches by end of year.

Equity Group has partnered with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) in their 35 million trees, tree planting initiative. KFS will provide technical support including the identification of hotspots, mapping out agro-ecological zones and identification of suitable tree species for planting.

The tree planting exercise was launched at the Wangari Mathai Institute of Peace and Environmental Studies while the other 8 campuses planted their set of trees concurrently with support from KFS and Equity branches.