The team representing GoGreen Initiative, under the Optiven Group Foundation joined the rest of the world in marking the 2022 World Wetlands Day. The event organized overally by Nature Kenya brought together different organizations involved in sustainability initiatives as entities and communities at Ondiri Swamp in Kikuyu, Kiambu County.

The theme for the 2022 global observation is, “Wetlands Action for People and Nature.” This theme highlights the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for humans and planetary health. The event was followed thereafter with a speech and display of products and services.

Among the stakeholders at the event included Safaricom, Vision 2030 Secretariat, KenGen, Brookside Dairies, CocaCola PETCO, the Kenya Forest Service KFS, the Kenya Wildlife Service – KWS and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry among others.

The 2022 observation coincides with the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, adopted as an international treaty in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. As part of activities to mark the important day, the celebrations were preceded by a conservation run and a clean up both which took place on 29th January 2022 in Kikuyu.

Other activities saw the inclusion of a wetlands art competition and tree planting with focus on bamboo and in partnership with the Kenya Forestry Service KFS. George Wachiuri, Chairman of the Optiven Group Foundation while commenting on activities of the day said, “We as partners for conservation for wetlands are calling on all stakeholders to take the call to prioritize wetlands urgently.

This calls for sacrifices in terms of financial, human and goodwill in order for us to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have degraded.” According to Nature Kenya, wetlands are amongst the most productive ecosystems on earth as they provide water for daily use, soils for agriculture, fish for food, pasture for cattle and materials for construction.

Millions of people directly depend on wetlands for livelihoods! These unique ecosystems also provide essential services such as flood control, water filtration, and protecting soil from erosion. The wetlands also play a special role in carbon sequestration by removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir – in this case, in plants.

Ondiri is a palustrine Wetland located in close proximity to Kikuyu town, Kiambu County. It covers 34.5 ha with a perimeter of 3.5 km and a depth range of 2 to 3 meters. It forms the headwaters of Nairobi River where it is fed by Nyongara River. It recharges the Kikuyu springs through a subterranean passage. The swamp is a source to 40 other springs, which provides water to the local community.

Since its launch in 2020 the GoGreen Initiative by Optiven has been part of environment initiatives to mitigate effects of climate change while maintaining ecosystem balance. #ActforWetlands #GoGreenNaOptiven. Ondiri Wetland is the biggest tower in Kikuyu and is a source for both Nairobi and Athi rivers. Why must it be protected? Because it is the only bog in Kenya.