Absa Bank, Safaricom Kick Off Plan to Create Coastal Forest 

This joint commitment will finance a mangrove reafforestation project aimed at preserving coastal ecosystems in Kilifi County

Absa Bank Kenya, in partnership with Safaricom, has announced a joint commitment Ksh2 million towards a mangrove reafforestation project aimed at preserving coastal ecosystems in Kilifi County.

The initiative, launched on the sidelines of the ongoing 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open, will see the planting and nurturing of 100,000 mangrove trees aimed at restoring the fragile mangrove ecosystems along the coastline. This will be implemented in partnership with Takaungu Beach Management Unit, a local community group.

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Absa Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Yusuf Omari, stated that the initiative underscores the bank’s sustainability agenda, aligning with its partners’ shared values of environmental stewardship and community empowerment.

“As an active force for good brand whose heart beats for our communities, we care about the communities around us and the environment in which we operate. Our partnership with Safaricom to undertake mangrove reafforestation reflects a sustainable approach to preserving biodiversity, mitigating climate change effects, and enhancing the resilience of coastal ecosystems,” said Mr Omari.

Safaricom Director, Sustainable Business, Social Impact & the Foundations, Ms Karen Basiye, stated that, “this partnership is a reflection of Safaricom’s commitment to its Environmental, Social, and Governance agenda. It will also take us a step closer to being a net-zero carbon-emitting company by 2050.”

“It’s encouraging to see our partners, Absa Bank and Safaricom, taking such proactive steps to preserve coastal ecosystems. Mangrove trees are vital in the fight against climate change, and this initiative demonstrates a meaningful commitment to environmental conservation,” U.COM Event Managing Director, Mr Dirk Glittenberg.

By partnering with local communities, these organizations are not only safeguarding our planet but also empowering coastal residents, Mr Glittenberg. “The Magical Kenya Ladies Open remains committed to leaving a positive impact in this region, either directly or through our valuable partners, and it is, therefore, heartening to witness such collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable future,” he said.

Mr Omari, Absa Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, said this year, the bank is targeting to plant over 1.5 million trees countrywide as part of wider commitments to become a net-zero organization by 2040. “We believe our efforts will also complement the government’s initiatives towards achieving 30 percent forest cover by 2032,” Mr Omari added.

Mangrove trees, known as the ‘lungs of our coastlines,’ absorb up to 900 tonnes of CO2 annually, aiding in combating the climate crisis. Their robust root systems also serve as effective barriers against storms and tsunamis, mitigating damage to coastal communities and reducing the impact of these catastrophic events.

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