Celebration of World Bamboo Day

By Michael Kitum


Kenya Forest Service joined the world in celebrating the World Bamboo Day on 16th September, 2020 at John Michuki Memorial Park in Nairobi. The event, whose theme for the year is "Sustaining Kenya the bamboo way", was marked through a tree planting exercise led by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) Hon. Keriako Tobiko where over 1000 bamboo seedlings were planted along the Nairobi River. 


The CS was joined by MoEF Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo, KFS Deputy CCF Mr. Patrick Kariuki, Kenya Forestry Research Institutne Director Dr. Joshua Cheboiwo, KFS Commandant Alex Lemarkoko, members of the Bamboo Association of Kenya, and representatives from MoEF SAGAs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a delegation from Colombian Embassy to Kenya among others. 


Speaking during the event, CS Tobiko commended the late Hon. John Michuki on his insistence on embracing bamboo along the Nairobi River and other flowing water bodies in the country.


‘‘The Late Hon. John Michuki knew the importance of bamboo species to clearing the mess in our waters,’’ said Tobiko.


CS Tobiko also reiterated the commitment by His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta in ensuring bamboo farmers realize the fruits of their sweat and labor by declaring bamboo the 16th cash crop of the Republic of Kenya. The CS stated that to this effect, the President directed that the National Bamboo Policy be finalized and presented to Cabinet within a month’s time.


In addition, the CS noted that the President had issued a directive allowing the importation of 4.5 tonnes of bamboo seeds into the country to support the bamboo industry. He, therefore, directed that KFS and KEFRI fast-tracks the registration of all tree nurseries in accordance with statutory regulations to ease the trade and thriving of the bamboo industry.


"The National Government has taken bamboo as a top priority and Government agencies have been directed to chip in to aid the realization of this objective," said the CS.


Through this, the CS also directed that henceforth, the Hon. John Michuki Memorial Park will host an exhibition area where the Bamboo Association of Kenya will establish a stand to promote the bamboo industry.


Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko appreciating a photo of himself drawn by a Bamboo artisan during the World Bamboo Day at Michuki Memorial Park.


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