PlantVillage has launched a climate change club of 50 students in Burudu primary school in Busia County. This is a move to enhance the planting of trees, and environmental conservation, as well as create awareness of climate change.
The club named Burudu forest club will provide a platform for the students to engage and educate the surrounding community to actively participate in sustainable agriculture and make the schools more eco-friendly. “Plant a tree save a life” being their theme, they aim to plant more trees in the region to repair the damaged ecosystem and mitigate climate change.
Burudu primary school is located in Samia sub-county, in the lower regions of Busia County. The area is not doing well in terms of ecosystem restoration and forested cover. Floods are a common occurrence because the lands have been left bare hence whenever it rains, the surface runoff doesn’t percolate into the soil but instead flows into the lake with all the sediments, which could have been trapped if trees were planted.
The headteacher of Burudu primary school Madam Christine Okuta wholeheartedly welcomed the initiative, urging the PlantVillage team to support the school in establishing tree nurseries adding that these nurseries can be a source of income for the community.
Addressing the students during the climate change learning session, Christabel Oyugi, a research and extension officer at PlantVillage highlighted the importance of trees in addressing climate change-induced incidences among them the raising temperatures, surface runoff, sedimentation in the lake and rivers, and flooding.
Meshack Jepter, a field officer at PlantVillage also challenged the students to adopt a tree to ensure that they all grow, as the adoption of trees by school-going children acts as pathways to project sustainability. Consequently, the group of 50 students each received a seedling and planted them around the school compound with tags for every tree. They expressed their commitment to nurturing and caring for the trees.
Meshack Jepter educating students at the Climate Change Club
PlantVillage is a project consisting of a website, mobile app, and on-the-ground team helping farmers diagnose crop diseases, monitor pests, and crowdsource answers to crop questions. The main goal of the project is to help farmers by providing them with affordable technology and agricultural knowledge. Additionally, the team visits schools to create awareness of climate change and improve food security in Kenya and the whole of Africa.
Written By: Mercy Achieng'