Thursday the 21st of March was the #InternationalDayofForests. Much attention has been given to the loss of forest cover across Kenya and the rest of the continent, but lesser attention to lasting solutions. This year, we decided to mark the day by influencing young minds at Lewa Downs Primary School, next to Lewa’s boundary, on the importance of not just planting trees, but nurturing them and seeing them grow and thrive.

There has been a lot of focus on planting trees, but very little is said about growing the trees. In some forests in Kenya, millions of trees are planted each year, but only a small fraction survive. Through Lewa’s Conservation Education Programme, we aim to change the thinking around this. It’s not enough to plant a tree – it needs to be looked after to ensure it grows.

400 students in the school each received a tree seedling which they planted and promised to look after by staking, watering, adding mulch, manure and more. This is an exciting project that will not only change the landscape of the school but also offer a hands-on, biodiversity lesson for the children. We plan to replicate this across the other Lewa-Borana sponsored schools.

Photos: Jeff Waweru

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