In the year 2019, in Ngong forest, KDF Lady Officers and Service Members spearheaded by the First Lady Her excellency Margaret Kenyatta, the Defence Cabinet Secretary, Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces in charge of Personnel and Logostics Maj. Gen. Fatma Ahmed and other dignitaries planted 2000 trees.
This year, it was a repeat exercise in the same forest during a female mentorship session led by the Defence CS Amb. Dr. Monica Juma alongside her counterpart from Environment and Forestry Hon. Keriako Tobiko in celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day.
The mentorship program linked women from different sectors, disciplines, learning institutions and other walks of life.
Major Agneta Apondi remembers the environmental champion and Nobel Piece Laureate, late Dr, Wangari Maathai for her activism and passion that gave rise to the green belt movement.
“We can now afford to enjoy the cool ambiance of the Karura Forest, have picnics, jog, cycle, Run and so much more including it being a water catchment area,” says Major Apondi.
She adds that the KDF, through the environmental soldier program, sets targets for planting trees and maintaining them through the shamba system, where locals grow their domestic crops along with the trees with commitment to taking care of these trees.
Major Apondi lauds the strategic leadership and institutions that have championed for gender mainstreaming in the KDF, saying that the government through the guidance of the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces H.E Uhuru Kenyatta proposed and recognizes affirmative action and gender mainstreaming as a means to promote gender equality, evidenced by the successive appointment of female Defence Cabinet Secretaries.
“In the spirit of sharpening the arrowhead, the Chief of Defence Forces has ensured that the gender policy comes as a commitment of MOD to gender mainstreaming,” she adds.
Major Apondi points out strides towards gender mainstreaming using examples such as an increase in the percentage of ladies in strategic leadership, command, management and staff courses; elevation of lady officers to senior leadership; pre deployment training on gender and mentorship of international and national female Service Members conducted at the International Peace Support Training School.
She encourages students to keep having hope informing that those in leadership went through the same process.
“You never succeed beyond the degree that you are willing to sacrifice, always be hopeful, persistent, consistent then you will see results. God bless you and all the best,” she concludes.