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Implementation of the National Tree Planting Campaign (NTPC) Project

By Noor M. Hussein

The National Tree Planting Campaign (NTPC) Project is a high priority Government-driven initiative conceived in the 2019/2020 financial year, to implement the Presidential directive and “National Strategy for achieving and maintaining over 10% Tree Cover by 2022.” The Project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MEF), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) and Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA). 1.8 billion tree seedlings are required in order to achieve ten percent tree cover by 2022. 

 

Key milestones achieved in the 2019/2020 financial year include procurement, distribution and utilization of polythene tubes in all ecosystems to raise a total of seventy (70) million tree seedlings. Funds have been disbursed to tree nurseries to facilitate employment of casual laborers, collection of nursery soil and other supplies for seedling production. There has also been refurbishment of 150 tree nurseries, hydrological surveys and EIA studies for drilling of boreholes in selected tree nurseries.

Seeds have been procured from KEFRI, and seedlings procured from Kenya Prisons Service (KPS), who are partner organizations in Greening Kenya Initiative. Plantation areas, natural forest areas, mangrove forest ecosystems and Arid and Semi –arid Lands are some of the targeted sites that are being rehabilitated and established. 

 

The project is also supporting growing of fruit trees and setting up woodlots in schools and other learning institutions. The project is also supporting raising of 2.4 million tree seedlings by Community Forest Associations (CFAs), private tree nurseries, women and youth groups. The County Governments are also being supported to establish 20,000 hectares of commercial forests on private and community lands. Various silvicultural activities are also being undertaken including establishing 500kms fire breaks in natural and plantation forests. 

 

The Project will utilize an electronic reporting system for seedling production and tree planting activities, and all staff in the 47 Ecosystems and 10 Conservancies have been trained to utilize the system. 

The outbreak of Corona Virus pandemic in March 2020 has slowed the implementation of the project activities, particularly the tree planting program. However, measures have been put in place to ensure planned activities continue while observing regulations by the Ministry of Health in combating the spread of Covid 19 virus. 

 

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