OUR SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Corporate Social Responsibility is paramount and at the heart of our DNA. This was laid bare on 14th of October 2021 when the Centre partnered with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to identifying a wetland area in Kikuyu named Ondiri and thereafter planting 1000 trees as part of the Centre’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
The objective of conservation of the wetlands is to ensure sustained waterflow in the downstream areas from Nairobi River, Athi River, Tana River all the way to the Indian ocean.
The guiding principles of the Centre’s CSR Policy includes the following:
i. An understanding that Corporate Social Responsibility has become an integral part of public service and therefore the Centre needs to appreciate its role to the society and nature that nourishes them.
ii. To ensure employees are fully informed of all relevant Centre CSR activities and to enable them to effectively support the strategic direction of the institution.
iii. to ensure that all employees are aware of their responsibility of maintaining good corporate image as a socially and environmentally responsible stakeholder.
iv. To provide easy access to essential, useful, and engaging information for employees on the Centre’s CSR activities.
Against the above background, the concept and the need for CSR has gained importance from all sectors of public and private enterprises with the Government publishing various guidelines pertaining to responsibilities of public entities, mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility provisions, enabling legislations and various executive orders through regular circulars.
We at NCIA have not been left behind in ensuring that we support the government to attain a projected 10 per cent tree cover by the year 2022. This is expected to be realized through partnerships to enhance coverage through tree planting and related initiatives that aim at spurring a tree growing culture among communities.
About Ondiri Wetlands
Ondiri wetland is located within proximity of Kikuyu town. It is an important wetland that forms the headwaters of Nairobi River within the Athi drainage basin. The area is a unique wetland with macrophytes growing on a floating peat.
Ondiri wetland is oval and local legend has it that it used to be an open lake in the early part of the 19th century and indeed the name itself is Gikuyu corruption of old lake (Ondirí). However, as deforestation and subsequent erosion accelerated, the lake ended up being covered by floating reeds on peat such that it ended having an extensive reed mat that covers more than 95 percent of the wetland to form a quacking bog, the only one in the country.
A quacking bog is made up of a layer of vegetation floating over water. You can walk on the vegetation, but if you jump up and down the whole bog quakes like a bouncing castle.
General objectives of Friends of Ondiri Wetland Kenya.
Friends of Ondiri Wetland Kenya is involved in advocacy, ecosystem restoration and pollution control. It has the primary objective of establishing a center (botanical gardens) with a diverse collection of flora and fauna for economic gain in their display, research, education, and conservation of Ondiri wetland and restoration of bird life that existed before to make it a birding tourist attraction site.
During the tree planting exercise, the teams from NEMA together with NCIA staff joined hands and made a green statement by planting the trees along the River Nyongara in Ondiri area, Kikuyu- Nairobi County. The activity which begun at 9.00 a.m. saw the teams putting their best foot forward to ensure the activity was a great success, and indeed it was.
At the end of the exercise, The Director of enforcement at NEMA, Mr. Stephen Katua appreciated the teams and noted that there should be a follow up tree planting exercise during the International Day of Forests to be held in February 2022. The theme for the event will be "Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being".
The chairperson of the CSR committee concluded by thanking all participants and invited the officials from Friends of Ondiri Wetland to engage the local community and ensure the trees planted are well taken care of during their infancy.