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Tree Planted to Inaugurate Botanical Garden as Nation Honours Wangari Maathai Day

Date and time: 
Fri, 2016-03-04 08:52
Location / Venue: 

Chiromo Campus, Jeevanje Garden

College of Biological and Physical Sciences Principal, Prof. Bernard Aduda planted a tree on March 3, 2016 during the inauguration of University of Nairobi’s botanical garden, an event coinciding with the nationwide celebrated Wangari Maathai day.

Botanical Garden is a rehabilitation project of the College’s natural biodiversity and protection of the ecosystem. The project focuses on planting exotic and indigenous trees using Miyawaki Method, a Japanese technique for restoring forest degradation.

In Miyawaki Method, trees are planted on high densities to enhance competition for nutrients and light. This competition contributes to intense vertical growth of the trees and fast vegetation growth.

The tree planted, Warbugia Ugandensis  (East African Greenheart), is commended for its medicinal value in curing human and livestock diseases. The tree will add to the botanical garden presently managed by Prof. Kokwaro, an expert in plant taxonomy and ecology at the University of Nairobi (UoN).

Prof. Kokwaro, has undertaken immense initiative as a taxonomist during his 48 years of service at the University.  His ingenuity has facilitated tagging of trees, with both Scientific and English names, in Main and Chiromo campuses; a project dubbed Botanical walk through UoN.

In 2014, Prof. Kokwaro launched a book, Classification of East African crops, a second edition book that classifies usage and commercial crops into 26 classes; among them fruits, vegetables, cereals , cash crops, horticulture and drug crops. The handbook which serves as an excellent source of information for both students and researchers has over 70 coloured plates illustrating different crops and other useful plants.  

According to World Agroforestry, the East African Greenheart’s survival is threatened due to increase felling for provision of timber and over-harvesting of the stem back.

The tree cures several ailments including stomachache, constipation, common cold, cough, fever, muscle pains, weak joints, candidiasis, measles, malaria ,livestock disease (trypanasomiasis) and its twigs can be used to brush teeth - reveals International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Wangari Maathai day is celebrated on March 3 to honour the late Prof. Wangari Maathai who is remembered for her activism and contribution in sustainability of environmental conservation in Kenya. She founded Green Belt Movement with an aim of reducing poverty by planting trees.  Wangari Maathai was recognized internationally and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

Prof. Wangari Maathai also partnered with the University of Nairobi and founded the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. The institute undertakes graduate training and research in Environmental Governance and Management.

Students have not been left behind either. Under the umbrella of Chiromo Environment Awareness Club, students established an indigenous tree nursery at the College of Biological and Physical Sciences in 2015. The students continue to take part in environmental sustainable projects in the society. 

Prof. Bernard Aduda plants the East African Greenheart

Expiry Date: 
Sat, 2017-03-04 08:52

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