Absa Bank Kenya, in collaboration with Safaricom, has unveiled an initiative to support mangrove re-afforestation in Kilifi County, Kenya.
With a joint commitment of Kes2 million, the project aims to preserve and restore coastal ecosystems, particularly mangrove forests, which play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity and protecting shorelines from erosion.
The announcement was made during the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open, highlighting the significance of environmental conservation in tandem with sporting events.
The reafforestation project intends to plant and nurture 100,000 mangrove trees along the coastline, spearheaded by the partnership between Absa Kenya, Safaricom, and the Takaungu Beach Management Unit, a local community organization.
This collaborative effort highlights the importance of community involvement in environmental conservation, recognizing the crucial role that local communities play in safeguarding natural habitats.
By working hand-in-hand with local groups, the initiative not only addresses environmental challenges but also promotes community empowerment and ownership of conservation efforts.
Yusuf Omari, Absa Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, emphasized the significance of this partnership, highlighting the bank’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.
He underscored the alignment of the initiative with the bank’s core values and the shared commitment of its partners towards preserving natural resources for future generations.
“As an active force for good brand whose heart beats for our communities, we care about the communities around us and the environment in which we operate. Our partnership with Safaricom to undertake mangrove reafforestation reflects a sustainable approach to preserving biodiversity, mitigating climate change effects, and enhancing the resilience of coastal ecosystems,” said Mr. Omari.
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Environmental, Social, and Governance agenda
Safaricom Director, Sustainable Business, Social Impact & the Foundations, Karen Basiye, stated, “This partnership is a reflection of Safaricom’s commitment to its Environmental, Social, and Governance agenda. It will also take us a step closer to being a net-zero carbon-emitting company by 2050.”
U.COM Event Managing Director Dirk Glittenberg said, “It’s encouraging to see our partners, Absa Bank and Safaricom, taking such proactive steps to preserve coastal ecosystems. Mangrove trees are vital in the fight against climate change, and this initiative demonstrates a meaningful commitment to environmental conservation. By partnering with local communities, these organizations are not only safeguarding our planet but also empowering coastal residents.
“The Magical Kenya Ladies Open remains committed to leaving a positive impact in this region, either directly or through our valuable partners, and it is, therefore, heartening to witness such collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable future.”
“This year, we are targeting to plant over 1.5 million trees countrywide as part of our wider commitments and become a net-zero organization by 2040. We believe our efforts will also complement the government’s initiatives towards achieving 30 percent forest cover by 2032,” Mr. Omari added.
Mangrove trees, known as the ‘lungs of our coastlines,’ absorb up to 900 tonnes of CO2 annually, aiding in combating the climate crisis. Their robust root systems also serve as effective barriers against storms and tsunamis, mitigating damage to coastal communities and reducing the impact of these catastrophic events.