On 28th April 2023, Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA) in conjunction with the Judiciary, Stanbic Bank, National Water Harvesting Storage Authority, RODI Kenya, NORKEN International, Post Bank, Water Service Providers among other partners has today planted more than 20,000 tree seedlings in Karimenu II Dam, Gatundu North.
Speaking during the tree planting exercise, the AWWDA Board Chairperson Hon. Patrick Mbagula said that AWWDA has been at the forefront of efforts to promote environmental sustainability and proper management of the environment with a focus on mitigating the effects of climate change and global warming.
“AWWDA has put in place plans to plant trees in all its projects and water catchments. These plans are aligned with national goals on tree planting and the National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign, which was launched by His Excellency President William Ruto on 21st December 2022, with the aim of raising Kenya’s tree cover to 30% by 2032,” said Hon. Mbagula
AWWDA CEO Eng. Michael M. Thuita MBS affirmed AWWDA’s commitment to environmental sustainability which led to the launch of a tree planting program at the Karimenu II Dam site. The program which is in its third phase, aims to grow trees at the project site after the dam construction and protect and conserve the catchment area for the ecological sustainability of the Karimenu river ecosystem.
“AWWDA has so far planted 36,000 trees within the dam area with a survival rate of 90%. We intend to plant an additional 54,000 trees within the dam and reservoir and another 100,000 trees upon acquisition of the buffer zone from the reservoir totaling 200,000 trees,” added Eng. Thuita
As part of this initiative, AWWDA organized the Phase III tree planting program at the Karimenu II Dam site. The program seeks to plant an additional 20,000 trees, bringing the total number planted at the site to 36,000 trees. The program is being conducted in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the host community, public and private sectors. This partnership is essential for ensuring the success of the program, as it fosters community involvement, raises awareness of the importance of environmental conservation, and promotes social responsibility.
“The Karimenu II Dam site is a significant water source for the surrounding communities, and the tree planting program is expected to have far-reaching benefits for the area. By planting trees, AWWDA hopes to mitigate the effects of climate change by increasing the tree cover and promoting carbon sequestration. The trees will also help to prevent soil erosion, regulate water flow, and improve water quality, ensuring a clean and reliable water supply for the communities within AWWDA’s area of jurisdiction,” said Hon. Mbangula
Present was the Environmental Land Court led by the presiding Judge Justice Oscar Angote, Head of Client Coverage, Corporate Banking Stanbic Bank Mr. Joe Alaro, CEO National Water Storage and Harvesting Authority Eng. John Muhia, the Deputy County Commissioner Kiambu Mr. Kavisa, Executive Director Resources Oriented Development Initiative (RODI) Kenya Ms. Esther Bett, Kiambu County Government, Ruiru Juja Water Company, Thika Water Company, Limuru Water Company, Gatundu Water Company, Kiriko Special School, Upper Matasia Primary School, the Karimenu Dam Community among other partners.