It’s predicted that by 2050, more than half of all Kenyans will be urbanites, living in cities like Nairobi. As these built-up areas rapidly grow, so too will the environmental issues they create – tree felling for timber and fuel, water and air pollution, poor waste management and the general deterioration of the urban environment.
These problems are already affecting the residents of Nairobi, especially children, who are often without safe, clean and shaded areas to play, at school or at home. Partly because there are too few trees, many schools in the city can’t offer students suitable spaces for study and play.
Run by Trees for Cities and the Centre for Community Development (CFCD), the My Pet Tree Project aims to tackle these challenges. It doesn't just increase tree cover; it makes tree cultivation and care a core part of the school experience.
trees have been planted
at seven schools, engaging 350 school kids.
We've planted 2,800 trees across 7 schools with 350 students volunteering to look after their ‘pet trees’, which means they’re responsible for watering them, removing weeds and ensuring their survival. We’ve also run an awareness programme alongside the tree planting, including workshops, a newsletter and a community forum, to
This approach means the children will develop valuable skills and environmental awareness, and learn that they can make positive, lasting changes to their surroundings.
With a mix of woodland and fruit trees including Mango, Mulberry and Avocado, the schools will gain a source of free, sustainable and healthy food. From a wider perspective, the trees will also a part in protecting water sources, improving air quality, reducing the impact of localised flooding and mitigating climate change through carbon storage.
We’re excited to have this fantastic opportunity to inspire schoolchildren in the city to think about conservation and how trees can make their environment healthier, at the same time as improving their immediate surroundings.