Ministry adopts Ngong hills forest in marking Africa Public Service Day

APSD is celebrated yearly on June 23, to recognize the value and virtue of service to the community

By Ruth Seleina

The Ministry of Public Service and Gender has today adopted the Ngong Hills Forest and planted 5,000 trees to mark celebrations on Africa Public Service Day (APSD) 2020.

Officials from the Ministry and other State Agencies led by the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender Prof Margaret Kobia and her Environment counterpart Keriako Tobiko planted trees to mark the APSD 2020.

Prof Kobia delivering the speech on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta in marking the APSD said international and regional frameworks such as the APSD have provided the platform for Kenya to showcase its capabilities, and earn the respect and recognition of the global community, with Kenya just won the coveted seat at the United Nations Security Council.

He noted that the government recognizes and celebrates Public Servants, individuals and teams who are in the frontline in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is in this spirit that we are providing support to vulnerable groups in our Society, and engaging in neighbourhood clean-ups to promote a more hygienic and healthy Nation. I am glad that you are also engaging in tree planting in line with our National goal of achieving 10 per cent forest cover,” read the President’s speech.

The President urged Public Servants across the Country to remain sensitive to the provisions of Chapter 13 of our Constitution on the Values and Principles of Public Service.

“Let professionalism, diligence, efficiency, responsiveness, impartiality, accountability, transparency, fairness and timeliness be guiding principles in your daily life at work. In this regard, I must reiterate that going forward, behavior against these Principles and Values of Public Service will be met with prompt state sanctions,” the President warned.

In his remarks, CS Tobiko said the importance of trees cannot be overemphasized saying his Ministry is keen to ensure the trees that are grown in all occasions held countrywide survive to increase the cover to 10 per cent.

“Every year trees are planted countrywide by government and government institutions, corporates and Kenyans alike that is why we have moved from tree planting to tree growing which will ensure survival of the trees,” said the CS.

He decried the destruction of the Ngong Hill Forest which is a water tower that supplies water to Athi River a major source of water for Ngong, Kiserian and among and others. “This forest was initially 3,000 hectares and was a closed canopy forest but overtime due to degradation and encroachment the forest has been reduced to 500 hectares,” he added.

On his part the Deputy Head of Public Service Mr Wanyama Musyambo said to ensure sustainability trees grown should be nurtured to ensure they don’t wither saying the growing culture should be replicated countrywide in order to achieve the recommended 10 per cent tree cover.

Among those other leaders present during the event were Chief Administrative Secretaries Maureen Mbaka (ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs), Hon. Rachel Shebesh (Public Service and Gender), Principal Secretaries Prof. Collette Suda (Gender), Dr. Chris Kiptoo (Environment and Forestry), Mary Kimonye (Public Service), Julius Korir (Youth Affairs), Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha among other government officials.

APSD is an event entrenched in the African Union calendar and is celebrated yearly on June 23, to recognize the value and virtue of service to the community. This year’s events theme; is entrenching good governance in developing transparent and accountable public institutions.

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