We all love trees. A vibrant, beautiful tree benefits everyone. They are natural air conditioners, shady and as most people know they give us oxygen amongst other benefits.
The minute you step into an area surrounded by trees, you most definitely feel and see the difference. You can almost touch it. This is what we felt on our tour through Dakatcha as we drove in to Soso-Chamari primary school.
Soso-Chamari is one the schools A Rocha Kenya has been working with through its Environmental Education programme. With several trees visible and stones beautifully laid out, the school stood out as lovely and very different from the surrounding area. We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Ngasho, the wildlife club patron,who after introducing us to the deputy head-teacher and the Environmental-club members; took us round the school with the Environmental-club officials.
Right outside the school office are some trees that the club members planted,some flowers around the flag-pole and in a border a few metres wide outside the classrooms. It was interesting to hear, “this tree was planted by the former patron and that one there by our former chairperson”said the patron as we went round the school. They have made a tradition that every patron and chairperson has to plant a tree before they leave office as a tree of remembrance.
Gradually as they get to learn and understand the importance of trees, the students have taken up the initiative to plant trees not only in the school but even in their homes. Leading by example is one the qualities that made Stephen Tingali,the Environmental-club chairperson stand out. He has planted 40 trees at his home and he is diligently taking care of them.
The club has planted 400 trees that they are taking care of around the school compound. However, last year they experienced a
severe drought, so out of 400 trees that were planted, only 290 survived.This year has seen more rain, but instead of planting more trees, the club has decided to take care of the existing ones.
The visiting team encouraged them to do mulching especially around the young trees and to also embrace the same in their homes. The difference felt in schools should also be felt in their homes and ultimately Dakatcha.