Sep 13, 2011

M-PESA Driving Green Agenda in Kenya

There is a story doing rounds on social media about a primary school kid who was asked by his teacher what the colour green on Kenya's national flag stands for; he innocently told the teacher that green stands for M-PESA.

The colour green on the Kenya national colours represents vegetation.It is reminder to all Kenyans to conserve our forests and all  vegetations. Every kid in school should know that. But we can not really  blame the kid for not knowing that. The green M-PESA agents' shops are  everywhere. It's the first thing you see when you get out of your house.

M-PESA has 14 million users and 28,000 agents. It is because of this ubiquity of M-PESA  that now many non profits are using the service to fund raise for a worthy cause.

A couple of weeks ago the government rolled out a massive national tree planting campaign dubbed the Green Kenya Initiative (GKI). The initiative targets to plant 7.6 billion trees over the next 10 years. The initiative also intends to establish one well managed community based Green Belt bio carbon zone of more than a million trees in 47 counties.

GKI has different representatives in each county. A good example is the Greenland Conservation Development Organisation (GLCD) which is the GKI representative in Vihiga County. GLCD is using M-PESA to raise funds for the initiative.

The Kenya Wildlife Service is currently running a campaign that seeks to grow 300,000 trees at the Nairobi National Park. The project dubbed as the Nairobi Greenline,is a Ksh 40 million project that targets industries,conservationists,corporate organizations and the public to join the campaign to grow 300,000 trees from the Cheetah gate in Athi River to Carnivore restaurant.

The Greenline forest will cover approximately 1 percent of the Park and it will play a huge role in protecting the wildlife and the Park against poaching,pollution and grabbing. To participate send M-PESA (minimum 200) to M-PESA Pay Bill number 519519.

Other organizations using M-PESA to fundraise for tree planting initiatives include Pandapata initiative, Nature Kenya,and Cherangani foundation.