Rachel Ruto takes green energy drive to Kakamega
First Lady Rachel Ruto has challenged Kenyans to embrace cheaper and modern forms of cooking energy to ease pressure on forests.
Mrs Ruto said sources of energy like wood fuel were a threat to the global minimum goal of 10 per cent forest cover and Kenya Kwanza’s vision of 30 per cent forest cover by 2032. Kenya’s forest cover stands at 8.3 per cent.
Mrs Ruto said communities living around forests must adopt cheaper and environmentally-friendlier energy sources to power their cookery, including briquettes and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). “To protect this forest and many others, women must change their energy sources. Traditionally, women would go into forests for firewood, which is a source of degradation,” she observed.
The First Lady made the remarks at Kakamega Forest Reserve where she planted trees as part of her preparations to celebrate her birthday, scheduled for this Sunday.
She said: “I was here early today morning to plant trees; and I have seen many people live so close to the forest. I’ve adopted 200 hectares of the forest and shortly I’ll be seeking women, youth and men to help grow the adopted portion.”
She said her office, together with stakeholders, would soon roll out economic empowerment activities such as establishment of tree nurseries; and partner with technologists offering friendlier energy alternatives.
She was accompanied by Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, her host, Kakamega county first lady Janet Kasili and the chairperson of first ladies association, Alamitu Guyo.