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On Wednesday, 13 May 2020, at 10.00am EAT, PACJA in liaison with our Kenya national platform, the Kenya Platform for Climate Governance (KPCG) will host a webinar whose focus will be a conversation on the value of bamboo tree planting as part of efforts to build sustainable environmental ecosystems during and post-COVID-19. The session, which will also include a digital tree planting kick off with participation from several community based organisations (CBOs) and corporate organisations from the Mt. Kenya East Region. Key partners for this drive include the County Government of Meru, the County Government of Tharaka Nithi, Bidco Africa, WERU TV, Mugwe Community and AWECA.

Speaking at the session will be H.E. Muthomi Njuki, Governor Tharaka Nithi County, Government and H.E. Kiraitu Murungi, Governor Meru County and Hon. Gacheri Muthuri, Chair, Mugwe Community Development Organisation. 

Value of bamboo tree planting

As the world continues to reel from the impacts of COVID-19, we cannot lose sight of the climate change crisis whose impacts have ravaged communities for years. Efforts to build sustainable environmental ecosystems must therefore continue, the current challenges notwithstanding.

Bamboo, which is a fast-growing plant in the grass family provides several benefits, particularly with many advantages for the environment and livelihoods of communities. Despite bamboo being the largest member of the grass family, the tree has a thousand species which are found in diverse climates, cold mountains and hot tropical regions.

The tree is very versatile and there exist more than a thousand different types of bamboo with a varied range of heights, colours and growing habits. Some prefer shade while others thrive in bright sunlight. Hardy varieties may tolerate the winter chill to -20℉ (-29℃), while some types cannot tolerate a light frost. There is bound to be a perfect bamboo for any particular climatic condition. The bamboo suitable for Kenya and is being promoted under the Mt. Kenya ecosystem regeneration partnership is Dendrocalamus Asper (Giant bamboo for higher altitude areas) and Oxythenentera Abyssinica (Lowland and dryland variety). It also can resist pests more than any other plant. Bamboo is definitely not on top of the food list for deer, making it one of

the best reasons for gardeners to grow this tree. Rabbits and other mammals also tend to stay away. Bamboo is also rarely bothered by insect pests, with the exception of bamboo mites, which may be a problem in dry climates.

Environmentally, bamboo absorbs greenhouse gases and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. It is also a renewable resource that may help save the world’s dwindling forests. A hardwood forest isn’t replaced for many decades, but bamboo, among the world’s fastest-growing plants, can be harvested in one to five years, depending on the species. Further, due to its extensive root

system, prevention of soil erosion is a valuable bamboo benefit in many soil-depleted areas. In this tree planting project, bamboo will be specifically planted in riparian and watershed areas degraded over the years, in order to stabilise riverbeds. Its other uses range from medicinal, infrastructural, textile, utensils, musical instruments and food uses. 

To register for the webinar click here

Session Programme

TIME

ACTIVITY

DESCRIPTION

FACILITATOR/SPEAKER

10.00-10.30

Welcome and opening remarks

Statement on the event, objectives, stakeholders’ introduction and credentials of the speakers

Dr. Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director, PACJA

 

Remarks by KPCG, Mugwe Community, Caritas Kenya & AWECA

Remarks

Meryne Warah, Coordinator, KPCG

Morris Kirimi, Coordinator, Caritas Meru,

Hon. Gacheri Muthuri, Chair, Mugwe, Chair, AWECA

10.30-11.00

Statement from by Meru & Tharaka Nithi County Governments

Role of the County in environmental conservation, catchment rehabilitation, especially promotion of the right varieties of trees (eg Bamboo) in alignment with the Water Forum Resolutions 2019

H.E. Muthomi Njuki, Governor Tharaka Nithi County

 

H.E. Kiraitu Murungi, Governor Meru County

11.30-11.45

Vote of thanks

Salutation to speakers and participants, guidance on the next steps

Hon. Gacheri Muthuri, Chair, Mugwe Community Development Organisation

 

 

 

 

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