Absa Bank Kenya marked World Environment Week by planting over 100,000 trees in Embu County in partnership with the Environmental Interaction Organization, Kenya Forestry Service, and the local Community Forest Association.
Speaking during the tree planting occasion at Njukiini Forest in Embu, Absa Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Communications, and Corporate Relations, Charles Wokabi, said the initiative aligns with the bank’s sustainability commitments and complements the ongoing government’s 15 billion tree planting agenda.
“As an active force for good, we care about the communities around us and the environment in which we operate. We have a wider commitment to planting 10 million trees by 2025 and becoming a net zero organization by 2040. This year, we are targeting to plant over 1 million trees countrywide. And we believe our efforts will scale the government’s efforts towards achieving 30 percent forest cover by 2032.” said Mr. Wokabi.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Week is #BeatPlasticPollution, which is a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matter, and to accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy.
“We understand the critical role that tree planting plays in alleviating plastic pollution. Trees act as natural filters and help mitigate the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems. Our initiative here in Embu will not only assist in tackling pollution but will also improve the livelihoods of the local communities through job creation and eco-tourism.” added Mr. Wokabi.
Njukiini East’s Kenya Forest Service Station Manager Karuru Gathogo lauded Absa Bank for championing the initiative, adding it would positively contribute to the ongoing reafforestation efforts in Njukiini Forest.
“We are delighted that Absa chose to celebrate World Environment Week in our county and choosing to back our reafforestation efforts. Absa’s tree planting initiative is critical and timely for Njukiini forest as it aims to address some of the significant environmental challenges, we have faced such as the recent forest fire,” said Mr. Gathogo.
Earlier this year, Absa Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Safaricom and the Kenya Forest Service to adopt more than five degraded public forests across the country in a bid to reforest them. These forests included Kaptagat Forest, South Kinangop Forest, Njukiini Forest, and Kwa Jomvu Forest, among others.
Over the past two years, the bank has been planting trees in the southern part of Aberdare Forest and the Mau Complex in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service, local Community Forest Associations, and implementing partners such as the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). The bank is also on course to rehabilitate a section of the degraded 100-hectare Sorget Forest in Kericho County.