Catholic Bishops in Kenya Laud Government for Establishing Holiday to Plant Trees

A screenshot of members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) during their Friday, November 10 press conference. Credit: KCCB

The Kenyan government has declared Monday, November 13 a holiday to plant trees, a move that Bishops in the East African country have lauded and called on Kenyans to make the best of it in their efforts to conserve the environment.

In their Friday, November 10 address at the end of the Plenary Assembly which was held at St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre in the Diocese of Nakuru, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said that the initiative that is in line with Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on care for our common home, Laudato Si’, is also a commitment to enhancing engagement on climate change.

“We applaud the Government… for the recent Public Holiday set aside for tree planting,” KCCB members said.

They added, “We urge our Christians and all Kenyans to fully engage in this initiative and come out to plant trees within their homes, churches, schools, and villages.”

The Bishops urged Kenyans to also engage in other environmental activities, such as cleaning the environment and preventing soil erosion.


They called upon the government of the East African nation to enforce laws seeking to reduce the pollution of rivers which they said are sources of domestic water for many downstream communities in the country.

“Care for the Environment is part of our responsibility as Children of God and Christians. To care for and preserve our mother earth for generations to come. Let us also take advantage of the ongoing rains to plant and harvest water,” the Bishops said.

The Catholic Bishops in Kenya also lauded the government for milestones in the healthcare sector, saying that the burden of the high cost of healthcare is the biggest risk that most Kenyans carry on their shoulders.

“We acknowledge the efforts of the Government to provide Universal Health Care to all citizens,” the Catholic Bishops said, adding, “This would be a great milestone to improve the welfare of the citizens.”

The Bishops, however, expressed their dissatisfaction concerning the country’s National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) noting that the insurer, despite being at the center of universal health care in the country, is not running smoothly and efficiently.

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“It is for this reason that we once more raise our concern of the backlog of huge unpaid reimbursements to Mission Health Institutions that support the health provision at the grassroots,” KCCB members said.

They added, “By covering medical expenses, including surgeries, treatments, and medications, we can ensure that individuals receive the necessary healthcare services, improving their health outcomes and quality of life.”

In the statement signed by 26 Bishops, The KCCB members said that the medical expenses that ensure the quality of life of Kenyans is enhanced is threatened by a huge debt that is yet to be paid to the hospitals.

“Among the many Faith Institutions, the Catholic Mission Hospitals are still owed over 1 Billion Shillings by NHIF,” they said, and added, “We are still worried about what may happen. after the planned reorganization of NHIF. There should be a clear plan to pay these arrears.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.