The picturesque landscapes of Segera, Laikipia county, have become a familiar sight for the Youth Future Lab (YFL) team. Comprised of Willy Kamau, Frederick Kioko, and Alice Kamau, this group of enthusiastic conservationists had previously visited the region for a different project. However, they returned to Segera with renewed vigor and a new mission – to plant trees as part of the government’s ambitious tree-planting efforts. What they found was a breathtaking oasis that never ceased to inspire them, and an opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future for the planet.

After setting off from Nairobi before dawn on Thursday, April 6th, 2023, the team made swift progress on the journey north. As they passed through the bustling towns of Karatina and Nyeri, they marveled at the energy and vitality of the people they saw. Soon enough, they had crossed the equator and were closing in on Nanyuki, where they had arranged to meet a lawyer and surveyor who could help them with the tricky task of demarcating plots in the sprawling savannah of Segera.
As they arrived at their destination, they were struck by the same beauty that had inspired them on their first trip. Segera had not lost its magic, and the team was grateful to return to such a stunning place, a vast area that made them feel insignificant due to its sheer size. From afar, they could see the great Mount Kenya and Aberdare ranges and other hills around the region.

Our team was well-equipped with knowledge of the types of trees that would thrive in the Segera region. Among the species selected were Grevillea robusta, African Olive, fever tree, cedar, podocarpus, and others, carefully chosen to ensure the success of our tree-planting efforts.The team worked closely with the locals on Thursday, and to their delight, they were able to cover four plots of land instead of the initially planned three. In total, they planted 150 trees and 500 aloe vera plants.

The team’s work was briefly halted by the arrival of majestic elephants that frequented the area at night, a pleasant surprise.Witnessing the locals’ deep reverence for these gentle giants and commitment to peaceful coexistence with wildlife left the team inspired and with a newfound sense of respect for all living creatures.

The team spent the night in Nanyuki town, where they had a well-deserved rest before returning to finish their task. On Friday, they were joined by friends of YFL from Nairobi and Nakuru, who were eager to assist in planting trees and sharing mbuzi choma and drinks with the community. Together, they worked tirelessly, planting 50 trees and 300 aloe vera plants.

It was a pleasant surprise to the team when they were blessed with a deluge of rain, which Kenyans believe is a sign of God’s blessings. The rain poured before they could complete the day’s task, but the team got creative and provided shelter for everyone while ensuring that the fire was not extinguished by the rain and strong winds.Despite the challenging conditions, they were able to complete planting on the designated plots, and the locals were thrilled to see their efforts.

On Saturday, the team continued their work, planting an additional 300 trees to cover all borders, including the large 7-acre boundaries, with sufficient trees and aloe vera. On Sunday, the team spent the day shielding all the trees they had planted from the harsh weather and added more aloe vera to the areas.

In conclusion, the team had an incredible experience planting trees and engaging with the community in Segera. Despite the challenging weather conditions, they were able to complete their task and plant a total of 650 trees and 300 aloe vera plants.

The locals taught the team a valuable lesson in unity and collaboration, reminding them of the importance of coming together to achieve a common goal. As the community saying goes, “Kuja pamoja ni mwanzo, kukuwa pamoja ni maendeleo; kufanya kazi pamoja ni mafanikio.” This saying embodies the spirit of teamwork and recognizes that by working together, we can achieve great things. The team left Segera with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to continue working towards a better future for all.

Alice Kamau