By Mourice Seretta
National Bank of Kenya has partnered with the National Youth Service (NYS) to plant 50,000 tree seedlings in the Tana River Basin, as part of the Greening Kenya Initiative.
The tree planting campaign is part of government efforts to grow the country’s forest cover to 10 per cent by the year 2022. It aims at growing and nurturing 50 million tree seedlings, with each parastatal allocated a quota. The UN Environment Programme estimates the country’s current forest cover is at seven per cent.
The Managing Director of National Bank, Paul Russo said: “Environmental conversation is a cause that is very close to the soul of NBK. Over the years, we have actively participated in tree planting exercises. This underlines our commitment to actively contribute towards shaping the future of our country, not only through provision of financial solutions, but also conservation and betterment of our environment”.
The Director-General of NYS, Matilda Sakwa hosted the exercise at its Tana Basin Road Project facility that serves as an on-the-job training ground for servicemen and women, and an outpost for construction of Thika-Garissa-Bura-Malindi Road.
Tana River Basin is not only the main source of drinking water for Nairobi residents but also generates the bulk of the country’s hydropower. It also supports farming communities.
Also present at the event was National Bank’s Head of Public Sector, Charles Nyangito. Over the years, National Bank has been involved in environmental conservation initiatives. In 2013, the bank embarked on a nationwide re-afforestation campaign that planted over 2 million trees by 2017, with a special focus on arid areas of the country. As part of the campaign, the bank also rehabilitated over 250 hectares in Mau Forest.