As part of Equity’s yearlong 35 year anniversary celebrations, today, in partnership with Meru University of Science and Technology, Equity planted 40,000 indigenous and exotic tree seedlings on 32 acres of land within the University led by the University Chancellor who is also the Equity Group CEO and Managing Director Dr. James Mwangi.
This brings the total acreage under trees in the University to over 70 acres out of the total 540 acres representing a 13% forest cover.
During the celebrations to mark the Bank’s 35th Anniversary a few weeks ago, Equity Group announced plans to implement an ambitious project to plant 35 million trees across the country within a year.
Speaking during the event, the Chancellor stated that: “Humans have destroyed the earth’s vegetation cover amongst other environmental degradation so much that we are facing the challenge of climate change and global warming. The good news is, there is something we can do to reverse this trend of events. If we plant trees, we are only making our environment better for ourselves and future generations.” he said.
“Since the launch of the Chancellor’s Forest at MUST, 87,900 trees have been planted on 70 acres of land, bringing the total area under new trees to 13% of the total acreage of the University. This will make MUST the first university to have forest cover of over 10%, Dr Mwangi added.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Romanus Odhiambo stated that the University Management, Faculty, Staff and Students are a family devoted to countering threats posed to societies by climate change. “We continually support and device new solutions through science, technology and environmental sustainability projects, such as our annual tree planting day, to play our role in dealing with climate change.” Said the MUST Vice-Chancellor.
Through the Presidency, the Kenyan government has declared its intention to plant 2 billion trees within the next three years. This is in a bid to increase the country’s contribution towards addressing climate change. It is also an opportunity to engage the youth population in the Universities, Schools and Colleges in environmental conservation as well as provide them with an opportunity to earn an income through planting and taking care of the trees to ensure their survival
Speaking at the same time the Ecosystems Conservator of Forest KFS Meru County, Mr. John Njoroge said that the Kenya Forest Services recognises efforts by Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) in planting both indigenous and exotic trees, part of which, were donated by KFS. In the county, KFS is planting trees in the nine (9) forest stations. The Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the County Government of Meru and Kenya Forest Service are rehabilitating some of the gazetted hills. KFS provides forest advisory services to communities in the county.
Equity is a key player in the transition to clean energy that reduces reliance on wood fuel, charcoal and fossils fuels like kerosene as a source of energy. This is through financing and improving access to affordable, reliable and sustainable clean energy for all. EcoMoto Loan available on Equitel enables one to purchase clean energy products with a few clicks and taps on their mobile phone.
To date, Equity Bank has supported the distribution of over 100, 000 clean energy products worth over US$ 6 million with 300,000 individuals benefitting from clean energy products such as solar and clean cook-stoves. It has established a robust distribution network of high quality renewable energy products throughout the country.
This supports the SDG 7 of access to clean and affordable energy for all by 2030. Past initiatives to support the environment have seen more than 1 million trees planted in the Mau Water Tower.
According to scientists, planting trees is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis. It is also fundamental to the survival of forest-dwellers, and are important providers of ecosystem services, including maintaining, restoring soil fertility, protecting watersheds and water courses.
“There is an opportunity for us as a Group to scale-up the footprint of our contribution in greening the environment, supporting transitions to clean energy and increasing fruit productivity. It is in this regard that we propose unlocking our infrastructure to leverage on ongoing and proposed government initiatives,” noted Dr Mwangi.
The planting of trees at MUST was supported by Equity Leaders Program University Chapters.