Yesterday, UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey joined fellow diplomats for an Ambassadors’ Round Table on environment and security hosted by the Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee congratulated CS Omamo for “arming (her) soldiers with a tree.”
“Your environmental soldier programme is a model to be emulated by others. Tree plantation and adequate forest cover is the bedrock of environmental security,” he said.
The Environmental Soldier Programme is a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) initiative that’s geared towards care and preservation of environment by the soldiers in the field. Since the programme was started, KDF has planted over five million trees in the arid and semi-arid areas of Lodwar, Lokichogio, Turkana, Pokot and North Eastern Province. The Corps of Engineers’ Water Drilling Squadron (WDS) drills water in the area which is used to tend to the trees and ultimately use by the locals.
Commenting after the meeting, Mr Hailey described the conversations as ‘fascinating’, adding: “Long-term security and development require us to recognise and deal with the impact of climate change on communities and livelihoods.”