Friday, 6 May 2011

My tree-hugging obsession

I am tree hugger, so allow me to share what I always do to safeguard my future. Last week, I registered  43 tree seedlings I planted in April with a group of youth and vulnerable girls in Kibera.
Next month, we shall establish two tree nurseries to celebrate the #WED2011. One at the Kibera Girls Centre and another at the YMCA youth hostels, both of which will be income generating for the youth groups. I am delighted that we can improve livelihoods by selling products to safeguard our nature! You don’t need to worry about how to get involved, if you don’t have an activity of your own join mine on the 5th June, I will send you details if you leave comments on my blog.

If you can’t come, the Africanpoint, has just opened a new way to help you make a contribution towards safeguarding a world  heritage site, Mt. Kenya. You just need to Like or Tweet this; a tree seedling will be planted on your behalf!  This is a UNEP and Partners’ joint venture!
Damn the tree planting, its rainy and gets my hands dirty!
But Lo! I discovered the truth about my future with tree hugging business.

Faidherbia albida, which I planted at the Kibera Girls Centre, has the ability to grow with crops providing fertilizer , thus increased crop production.  When young in the village, my mum insisted we cut down the Olea Africana for firewood, so now I am repaying nature by planting this tree which is at a point of being endangered. But I am also concerned by the increasing deforestation  to farming and fuel wood. Since I can’t hug trees on an empty stomach I am on a mission to find a solution to this.

Whereas I want the forest cover retained and increasing for oblivious aforementioned, I still need 50% food supply increase to feed the growing population, in the next 20 years.

Can this happen while at the same time, we do not want to cut down any tree to increase carbon sequestration capacity and conserve our forest ecosystems? 

Yes, it can happen. Planting the right trees with crops on the same farm doesn’t only contribute to offering ecosystem services, but also enhances food production by improving soil fertility.  We now have more food and energy to hug more trees! We can now conserve the remaining forest portions and plant more in every bare space- trees, which will meet our needs. I call this agroforestry; it’s a lovely way of rethinking food, forests, climate change, soils, and livelihoods.
The last place I hugged trees: On Labour Day, I walked through Karura forest and I could agree no more with Wangari Maathai on why we need to conserve this and many other green spots in Nairobi. At the heart of a busy capital full of pollution, Karura is a hub of quietness, birds humming, whispering trees, monkeys, and branches falling off as if to attract your attention to gaze at their amazing diversity.  The small lake, waterfalls, tree diversity, nice walking paths, and picnic sites, are major attractions to local and international tourists.  This forest reminded me of the need to have a good forest policy developed and implemented in a participatory manner.
If you are still wondering what I am talking about in this article, I am reminding you that you need to conserve that forest that will provide a chair, a house, food, tourist/ historic sites, good climate, medicine, to your children, and their children. Join WED to know how- plant that tree you need NOW!

5 comments:

  1. Grt! Keep up hugging trees, and i will plant more for you this WED.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now, how can I grow many trees to plant on my plot if I can't find the seedlings?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Join the action here: http://kenyanclimateyouth.blogspot.com/2011/06/world-environment-day.html

    ReplyDelete