Sh2bn trees plan puts ministry on spot

Daniel Kirugi from Kenya Wildlife Service joins Sheila Kiprop (left) and Brian Kipruto of Kapkoi Primary School in Elgeyo-Marakwet County to plant a tree seedling in Sabor Forest on June 27, 2017. Photo credit: Daily nation.

The Environment ministry is on the spot over the management of a Sh2 billion school trees programme launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta five years ago.

A flurry of letters seen by Nation show that a team mandated to spearhead the process from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has been elbowed out of the exercise by the parent ministry.

The programme, which was to run for five years, would have seen primary schools supplied with seedlings in a bid to increase the country’s tree cover.

KFS said numerous letters written by its board to the ministry inquiring about the status of the funds have gone unanswered.

A company owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s kin was offered a local purchase order for the supply of seedlings worth Sh3 million, but rejected the offer.

Jam Hauling Company Ltd, whose directors are Mr James Muigai Ngengi and Mr Marthe Muigai, wrote to former Environment Principal Secretary Margaret Mwakima in March 2017 declining the offer.