Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and CEO Phineas Kimathi on Wednesday led dignitaries in planting trees in Kakamega Forest. [photo courtesy]

The Government on Wednesday started a tree planting exercise at the Kakamega Forest to step up its efforts in promoting WRC Safari Rally Greening Legacy Project.

As part of the WRC Safari Rally greening project, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and CEO Phineas Kimathi led dignitaries in planting trees in Kakamega Forest which target to plant one million trees in Kakamega and Kisumu.

Under the conservation theme, the WRC Safari Rally is growing 19 million trees over a period of three years to commemorate the 19 years that the Safari Rally was out of the World Rally Championship Circuit.

Reaffirming the government’s commitment to promoting environmental conservation, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said: “The greening project is an FIA Community model of giving back to nature and our target is to follow this model. We are also planning to have a Safari Forest at the headquarters in Kasarani.”

Jasmith Chana navigated by Ravi Chana racing on Mitsubishi Evolution during Africa Rally Championship shake down at Loldia in Naivasha on April 23, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

 “We are targeting parts of our wetlands and water catchment areas affected by deforestation, traditional SafariRally Routes, and the Moi International Sports Centre’s spectator stage, Kasarani.”

A multi-agency operation team is driving the project in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Save our Rivers Initiative (SAORI).

The Safari Rally Greening Legacy project joins the FIA/WRC family’s model of giving back to nature.

The team target to plant at least six million trees in all 47 counties in conjunction with the Kenya Forest Service, the Kenya Wildlife Service as well as the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

So far, over 600,000 trees have been planted in partnership with SAORI, and other community-based organizations.

The partnerships and ownership at the community level with communities have helped the project achieve survival rates of above 90% after the first year of planting.

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