19 million trees for a 19- year hiatus. Here’s all you need to know about what the 2022 WRC Safari Rally is doing to be more eco-friendly and community focused.
CS Sports Amina Mohamed and CS Environment Keriako Tobiko planting a tree in Kakamega
As the long-awaited WRC Safari Rally draws close, the Greening Legacy is enroute to hitting its 7 million target for 2022 with 5.4 million trees already planted across the country. Counties where the campaign has kicked off include Kakamega, Nyamira, Migori, Kisii, Homabay, Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Nyeri and Kirinyaga with more to come.
The environmental campaign is a brainchild of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Federation of International Automobile president Jean Todt to mark Kenya’s newly granted hosting rights for one leg of the WRC calendar after a 19-year hiatus.
A noble venture, head of the Greening Legacy, Ivy Kaburu, insists that it doesn’t stop at just tree- planting. They have partnered with local communities to ensure maintenance and a 90% survival rate after the first year of planting. Impact goes beyond just numbers here. The species of trees planted are also specifically chosen to complement the existing ecosystems of different regions.
All drivers (International & Local) will also be planting trees at Wildlife Research & Training Institute in Naivasha on the 22nd of June.
Efforts are also underway to create employment while effectively managing waste from the Safari rally. It is intended that all waste will be recycled to ensure none remains by the end of the event cycle. Pitstops will also be created for people driving from Nairobi & Nakuru to drop their waste in case they were unable to during the event.
This provides great employment opportunites for about 300 youth the Greening Legacy is working with from local communities in Soysambu, Loldia and Hellsgate conservancies.
Beyond this, they are partnering with Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) before the event and have scientists evaluating (assessing reports/testing of waters) for all the streams. This is all in a bid to follow all Wildlife Guidance protocols and ensure they have close to zero impact on the wildlife in the areas.
In addition, local communities and ranch owners are also chipping in to allocate safe sites in the area & work on the roads to promote better infrastructure in the area.
Lastly, in support of the local travel industry, marketing opportunities are also being offered for lodges and camps to promote bookings by both local and international travellers.