It's time we paid back

"Yes, I bet you this is the right time to reconstruct our environment, by replanting Indigenous trees". This was a conversation between two school girls just after my talk on habitat restoration. I was very humbled to note that they had actually grasped the whole concept of replanting lost indigenous trees. This happened in Mijomboni, one of the ASSETS beneficiary schools, shortly before we embarked on a tree planting exercise at F. B. Thuva secondary school. These girls are potential of becoming beneficiaries if they attain the required score in their end of primary school exams in November. I believe they will carry the massage of indigenous tree planting to their siblings, parents and neighbors. Most people around Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, plant fruit trees instead of indigenous trees. This is largely because indigenous trees occupy so much space in their farms not knowing that most of the trees like mango, coconut and cashew nut are in fact exotic. It is shocking that some community members argue that the forest can never get finished because it has always been there. What unbelievable level of ignorance! The ASSETS program has enabled many and their parents to change their attitude towards conservation of the forest and Mida Creek through awareness, education and benefit sharing.