Tree Planting in Kenya

14 June 2011 | News story

More than 12,000 indigenous tree seedlings have been planted in Kenya, both on farms and on communal land. The zonal tree planting day in Sagalla, in the south of the country, was officially launched on 6 May 2011 at the Sagalla Primary School. The SOS-funded EDGE of Existence project aims to restore forest habitat for the Sagalla Caecilian (Boulengerula niedeni), popularly called the ‘naked worm’ despite being a limbless amphibian.

The tree planting season in Sagalla, Kenya, started in April 2011 to take advantage of the ongoing rains, following intensive awareness-raising activities undertaken during the dry season.

More than 12,000 indigenous tree seedlings have been planted both on farms and on communal land. Bringing together various influential stakeholders, such as the Community Forest Association (CFA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, various activities were carried out such as the ‘Farmers’ Field Day’ and community and school tree planting days. 

The zonal tree planting day in Sagalla was launched officially on 6 May 2011 at the Sagalla Primary School under the theme Trees for Better Life and Biodiversity’.

The SOS-funded EDGE of Existence project aims at restoring forest habitat for the Sagalla Caecilian, popularly called the ‘naked worm’ despite being a limbless amphibian. 

Occurring only in an area less than half the size of Manhattan Island, the Sagalla Caecilian is threatened by the destruction of its forest habitat, which is also negatively affecting local communities. The project is rehabilitating degraded areas within the forest and the surrounding riverine areas by replacing invasive alien plant species with native vegetation, providing benefits for both the caecilian and the people of Sagalla.

Students have played a big role in this project by planting half of all the tree seedlings in their compounds, while the rest have been planted by the community on their private farms and in communal areas. During tree planting days, a little time was taken to talk to the students about  the Sagalla Caecilian conservation initiative. 

“Awareness-raising has had a positive effect, as students can now identify the caecilian and differentiate it from an earthworm or a snake!” says project leader Helen Meredith of ZSL (Zoological Society of London).