Uasin Gishu Journalists Association (UJA) in collaboration with Kenya Forest Services (KFS) and the County Government of Uasin Gishu County marked the World Press Freedom day by planting over 3000 tree seedlings.
The trees seedling were planted Muyingwet dispensary, Moiben Sub County this is also in line with the president’s plea to plant more trees to avert the effects of climate change.
“We are marking this day for our future where we want the rights of members of the press to be considered and we have seen that future cannot be achieved if we won’t look at our environment. We have planted 3000 tree seedlings in this area, a process we will continue to increase forest cover.” said James Gitaka, Chairman Uasin Gishu Journalist Association.
Gitaka called for the push to have the rights of journalists be recognized as they are in the International Labor Organization (ILO) as this saves the members of the fourth estate from some of the challenges they are currently experiencing.
“On media independence, there are a lot of challenges including but not limited to poor salaries, nonconducive work environments, closure of rural offices by media companies and this makes a journalist lack a safe place they can work from. We will work together with our members of parliament to push for bills that will champion the rights of the members of the press under the international labor laws in this country,” added Gitaka.
Koiya Arap Miayo, Director Alcoholic Drinks Control Board, Uasin Gishu County called on Kenyans to plant more trees to mitigate climate change and increase forest cover.
“I thank the members of the press who decided to celebrate and mark this day being their day. We all know justice without the right conducive environment is not possible. So today as they mark their day focusing on climate change which has affected us especially here in Moiben where tree cover is very low compared to other sub-counties here in Uasin Gishu County,” said Koiya Arap Maiyo.
“Members of the press did something commendable to come up in collaboration with the government, Kenya Forest Services, and other stakeholders to plant 3000 tree seedlings . This will go a long way in ensuring we are in a clean right environment, clean air, we get enough rainfall,” added Koiya Arap Maiyo
“ We have added more tree cover within Moiben Sub County as we know Moiben has the lowest percentage of tree cover and we are asking the community to plant more trees so that we increase the tree cover within this sub-county. Trees are very important in our lives and the community.”Ann Oluoch, Forester Moiben Sub County.
James Ahela, Media trainer, Eldoret National Polytechnic says “It is important for journalists and young journalists who are getting into the industry for they are able to know the freedom of the press in their daily operations within the country as they face a lot of challenges some caused by the society, government, and other external. Taking care of the environment is a good initiative that the media has planted some trees in this region which will go a long way in shaping our societies and the stories they cover.”