Egerton University, located in the heart of the Rift Valley region of Kenya, had always prided itself on its commitment to environmental conservation.
It was no surprise, then, that the university was chosen to host the Eighth Edition of the Run for the Mau Ecosystem cross country event, a highly-anticipated event that aimed to raise awareness about the importance of conserving the Mau Forest, one of the largest water towers in East Africa.
The event was a resounding success, with participants from all over the country coming together to run for the cause. The university's Director of Marketing and Resource Mobilization, Prof. Paul Kimurto, was thrilled with the turnout and the enthusiasm of the participants. "This event is a testament to our commitment to environmental conservation and our belief in the power of collective action," he said.
But the organizers of the event didn't want the momentum to stop there. They knew that planting trees was crucial to the long-term health of the Mau Forest, and they wanted to take action right away. So, in collaboration with Egerton University, they came up with a plan to plant over 100,000 seedlings during the rainy season in May 2023.
The university's Director of Institutional Linkages, Prof. Charles M'erimba, was excited about the initiative. "This is a great opportunity for us to partner with other institutions and organizations to make a real difference in our environment," he said.
To ensure the success of the project, Egerton University's Estates Manager, Mr. Orina, led a team to conduct a thorough reconnaissance of the area where the seedlings would be planted. They carefully selected the best locations and made sure that the soil was suitable for planting.
Once the locations were identified, the university began to reach out to potential partners who could help with the planting. Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB Bank), the main sponsor of the Run for the Mau event, was one of the first to sign up. "We are proud to be part of this initiative and to contribute to the conservation of the Mau Forest," said KCB Bank's Partnerships Head, Joshua Oigara.
Other institutions that have committed to planting trees at Egerton University include Kenya Forest Services (KFS), the Defence University of Kenya, Nakuru County government, Co-operative Bank, Njoro River Rehabilitation project, and Njoro Canning. Each institution will be given five acres of land to plant trees, with the goal of planting over 100,000 seedlings in total.
The project is expected to have a significant impact on the environment and the local community. By planting trees, the partners hope to reduce erosion, improve soil quality, and enhance biodiversity. They also hope to contribute to the overall health of the Mau Forest, which is a crucial source of water for millions of people in the region.
As the rainy season approaches and the planting begins, Egerton University and its partners are eager to see the fruits of their labor. "This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-term commitment to environmental conservation," said Prof. Kimurto. "We are excited to be part of this movement, and we hope that others will join us in our efforts to protect our planet for future generations."
Among the partners to adobt a forest under the initiative at Egerton University, as a strategy for sustainable contribution by partners on conservation of Mau Forest Ecosystem include; Hindu Community of Nakuru, KCB, Kenya national Defense University (KDU), Lanet, Cooperative Bank, KWS, Nakuru County Govt, KEFRI, Youth for Action Kenya,
By Kurian Musa/DMRM
Directorate of Marketing and Resource Mobilization