Kenya is listed as one of the developing countries aimed at becoming more advanced economically and socially. Over the past decade, Kenya has proved its potential by commissioning some of East Africa’s greatest infrastructural projects such as Thika Superhighway and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) dabbed Kenya’s greatest achievement so far. In this world of development in terms of infrastructure and policies, Sustainable Development needs to be achieved by having a holistic approach to matters of integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. In order to achieve a sustainable green nation, there is need to integrate the three dimensions.
Most developmental projects include site clearance activities in there implementation which has led to a massive destruction of the vegetation cover. Environmental Conservation has often been viewed as an enemy to development but with the current climate change issues experienced in the country such as fluctuating temperatures; destructive rains and flooding causing catastrophe, many Kenyans have now become enlightened on matters environment.
Kenya’s forest cover currently stands at 7.6% which is below the 10% target. This has majorly been caused by recent rise in deforestation and degradation of forests. With the alarming global warming threats, a task force was formed to address the issues of forest depletion. The government restricted illegal logging and encouraged continuous planting of trees which has been a great stride made by Kenya as a country.
Implementation of these strategies has however been a challenge. For instance, greening the nation initiative through tree planting was a very well thought of idea however only a small fraction of the planted trees are catered for and natured to maturity. The “adopt a tree” initiative where a person/ institution is encouraged to take care of the trees will assist in ensuring achievement of the 10% tree cover.
In order to achieve sustainable development, it is recommended that all developmental projects adopt environmentally friendly designs in their implementation. Vegetation clearance can be countered by proper landscaping mechanisms such as replantation of indigenous tree species and other vegetation cover in depleted areas.
The environment is our home and it is our common responsibility to ensure that we keep our home safe and sound. Implementation of conservation is a holistic approach that should be adopted at all levels from individual households up to the arms of government. The 10% vegetation cover target is not far-fetched and we can easily surpass this. Conserve, Plant and Adopt a Tree to green our nation Kenya.