KWEPU as a community-based organization (CBO) is running a tree…
Many people stand up for a better environment. With the slogan “PANDA MITI BORESHA MAISHA” – “PLANT TREES IMPROVE LIFE” the young people of Rusinga Youth Greening Movement fight for their future and mobilize their neighbors.
Once the island was covered with dense forest of indigenous trees. As the population grew in the 20th and 21st centuries, the trees were cut down to meet both the need for lumber and wood fuel, as well as to reclaim land for agriculture. People still rely on wood as a fuel source and have few alternatives. The sustainable way of dealing with nature, anchored in the original culture and consciousness of the native population – among other things through taboos – had been lost.
In recent years, the island has experienced climate change and also unpredictable weather, resulting in low crop yields for many farmers due to lack of adequate rainfall. The island is now classified as a semi-arid region, although in the past it was a forested area with good climatic conditions that supported the growth of crops and also wildlife habitat.
With the support of our association BaRuIs e.V., our partners have been able to establish three tree nurseries since 2020. All three nurseries are self-sustaining after an initial investment and operate according to non-profit principles. By directly involving students in the work of the tree nurseries, learning effects are achieved and attitudes towards the environment are changed.
The Kenyan government has also taken the situation into account and is striving to increase Kenya’s forest cover to the internationally required standard of over 10% trees on total land area. To achieve this, in 2021 the national government directed all Assistant Chiefs to ensure that the required number of trees are planted in their areas of responsibility. This means that a total of over 300,000 trees will be planted on Rusinga Island by 2021.
Prerequisites for successful plantings are: