Kenya seeks to grow 1.8 bln trees by 2022

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Kenyatta, who launched this year's National Tree Planting Day and the Nairobi Clean-up campaign in Nairobi, noted that at 7 percent, Kenya's forest cover remains low against the targeted 10 percent.

"We have come today for an important exercise to clean-up our environment and protect it," said the president who was on his way to the Moi Forces Academy, Eastleigh to launch this year's National Tree Planting Day.

NAIROBI, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to grow 1.8 billion trees in the next five years in an effort to achieve the 10 percent globally accepted tree cover, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday.

The Kenyan leader announced the establishment of a Presidential Environment Award Scheme to honor those who distinguish themselves as excellent environmentalists.

He said the city was falling under the weight of garbage and reckless dumping of chemicals and other hazardous industrial waste in the city and its waters.

He said the dumping of garbage was the cause of blocked drainage systems in the city which must be addressed urgently.

He said the government plans to achieve the globally accepted 10 percent tree cover by 2022 by intensifying tree planting and protection through a massive national exercise.

"We must reject the dumping of garbage on our roads and chemicals in the rivers before we can truly say we have restored the green city in the sun," he said.

He said the government will look into opportunities for green bonds and tax rebates on forest products to create opportunities for innovation for the young people, all aimed at liberating the energy and enterprise opportunities for the youth.

Kenyattta also launched a fresh campaign to clean up Nairobi aimed at restoring the city to its glorious past.