This Country has a Tree Planting Holiday!

Celebrating reforestation day.



(Harmattan Toujours /

Imagine a day off work spent with friends and family enjoying the outdoors and planting trees. This is what November 13 looks like across Kenya, with citizens celebrating the landscape and the ecosystem while planting trees in solidarity.

The Kenyan government recently surprised locals when they posted a message on social media, according to The Guardian. “The Government has declared a special holiday on Monday, November 13, 2023, during which the public across the Country shall be expected to plant trees as a patriotic contribution to the national efforts to save our Country from the devastating effects of Climate Change,” interior minister Kithure Kindiki posted on X.

The Kenyan government is taking the issue of deforestation seriously. Between 1990 and 2010, the forest cover in Kenya decreased from 12 percent to six percent, according to CNN. This has contributed to drought across Kenya, with no rains for five consecutive seasons. 

Growing 15 billion trees by 2032
However, felling trees continues to be important for the locals as they need the timber and charcoal to provide fuel and energy; and as the population grows, the forests decline. 

With the government’s forward-thinking strategy, the Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Programme hopes to replace these felled trees and more, by growing 15 billion trees by the year 2032. They also aim to conserve approximately 4 million acres (10.6 million hectares) of land that has been degraded.

These new trees will also help to combat global warming as trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen. This results in less greenhouse gas and reduced global warming, according to BBC. 

The government is making it easy for people to participate. When they download an app called Jaza Miti, Swahili for “fill with trees,” they are told which tree is best for their location, according to the Causes website. People then fill in the types of trees they are planting and where they are planting them. 

Each Kenyan citizen will plant two trees each year
This year, 150 million seedlings were free in public nurseries with the free seedlings designated for planting in public areas. People are encouraged to buy seedlings for their private land and attend tree-planting activities across the country. To reach the target, every Kenyan is to plant two trees on the national holiday. 

“The environment is everyone's responsibility – everyone has to make a contribution. It was incredible to see so many people asking where they could plant trees or get seedlings,” environmental activist Elizabeth Wathuti told Causes.

Each tree planted makes a difference today and for the future. Stephen Chelulei, who was recently planting trees along the Athi River, told BBC, “Even here at the river source, the levels are very low, trees have been cleared. We need to reverse climate change so that our children can have a place to live when we are no longer there.”

Transforming this important global issue into a public holiday is an opportunity to educate and bring people together in solidarity. It also offers a set time to connect to nature and pay respect to those ever-important trees. 

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