The Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) Community led by the Chancellor, Dr. James Mwangi and in partnership with Equity Group, has today (11th November 2019) planted over 40,000 indigenous and exotic tree seedlings at the University’s main campus in Meru County.
The event attended by MUST staff, students and guests from Equity Group is part of an initiative by Equity Group targeting to plant 35 million trees across the country within a year.
MUST Chancellor and Equity Bank Group CEO, Dr. James Mwangi encouraged Meru University students to take care of the trees planted citing that the focus has shifted from planting to growing trees.
“One of our very own Kenyan,the late Prof. Wangari Maathai put us on the global map for planting trees. She won the Nobel Prize in the year 2004. What is interesting about this achievement is the relationship between planting trees and advocating peace. In her Nobel acceptance speech, she said:
“I believe the Nobel committee was sending a message that protecting and restoring the environment contributes to peace; it is peace work. . . . I always felt that our work was not simply about planting trees. It was about inspiring people to take charge of their environment, the system that governed them, their lives, and their future.”
This shows us that there is more to planting trees than just the manual exercise. Because we get a lot of resources from trees such as the paper we write on, timber for building our houses, and firewood, this can be a source of conflict when the resources are not enough. When we plant trees we are creating wealth but we should not cut the trees down to create wealth and then fail to plant some more for the same use in the future. Trees are a renewable source of energy. By planting more you replace the already used up trees. The danger is that the rate of extraction of trees through human activities (including charcoal and firewood) has been much more than the rate at which we are growing new ones. This is what we need to reverse. Equity therefore has taken the lead in supporting households in energy transition to reduce reliance on woodfuel and charcoal by availing them modern technologies for cooking.” MUST Chancellor and Equity Group CEO, Dr. James Mwangi.
“I am grateful to our Chancellor, Dr. James Mwangi for spearheading this fundamental event created to take care of our environment. As a council, we are supportive and thankful for this initiative.
Research conducted earlier in the year at ETH Zurich, a Swiss University, shows there is enough room in the world’s existing parks, forests and abandoned land to plant 1.2 Trillion trees. This would have the carbon dioxide storage capacity to cancel out a decade of carbon dioxide emissions. Today’s tree planting event is a huge step in the right direction. The 40,000 trees represent our support in combating climate change.
No good deed is too small. We have to own our challenges and work hard at creating lasting solutions.
MUST will continue to make its mark on this world by nurturing holistic graduates, supporting research projects and empowering our communities to adopt best environmental practices.” MUST Chairman of Council, Prof. Dulacha Galgalo.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, MUST Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo stated that the University Management, Faculty, Staff and Students are a family devoted to countering threats posed to our societies by global climate change. Prof. Odhiambo said the University will continually support and device new solutions through science, technology and environmental sustainability projects, such as the annual tree planting day, to play a role in dealing with climate change.
“Throughout this year, we have heeded the call to plant trees. Earlier this year in July, we had the environmental day where we planted over three thousand trees. We have also made it a tradition that whenever we have guests visiting the University, we encourage them to plant trees here at the University. We envision that in a few years, we will have a very beautiful forest and an equally beautiful environment with fresh air.
Meru University supports existing and creates innovative environmental sustainability programmes aimed at solving societal challenges. The Paradigm Shift in Feacal Sludge Management is an example of a project serving the communities around us. Waste management is one of the major issues related to climate change leading to environmental degradation, Soil, Air and Water pollution. This bio-resource based sanitation project listed by the United Nations Habitat as a Top 20 Innovation Solution in 2019, converts faecal matter and food waste into safe organic fertilizer and agro-protein. This clearly paints the picture of our ability to solve challenges.
The Chancellor’s Forest is a symbol of unity, purpose and hope. We have come together from our diverse backgrounds unified by the decision to do good by our society as we look forward to a greener and healthier environment. Today is bigger than us, the 40,000 trees will serve generations to come. I thank all of you for choosing to plant a tree and save the environment.”
Part of the trees were planted in the Chancellor’s Forest. Since its launch and after today’s event, the Chancellor’s forest now records 87,900 trees planted on 70 acres of land. In total, the University forest cover is at 13% of the total acreage. This makes MUST the first University to have over 10% forest cover.
Meru University of Science and Technology remains committed to sustaining the environment. If you are looking to join a University offering Quality Education and a holistic University student experience, we are here for you!
Take the first step: https://www.must.ac.ke/schools-departments-and-programmes/
Below are highlights from the day’s events:
Meru University appreciates everyone who made this day a success.