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Scouts shun Founders Day owing to night travel ban

24 February 2014, 11:39 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyerii - The commemoration of Lord Baden Powel, the founder of the Scout movement, which is marked on February 22 every year did not attract many delegates in Nyeri County was this year owing to the night travel ban issued last year by Transport Cabinet secretary, Micheal Kamau.

The event, which brings together thousands of scout movement members across the country and from abroad, deems Nyeri to be most populated thus business booms during the commemoration period.

The movement followers converge in Nyeri annually, where the founder died and was buried, to commemorate his life.

However, during the event that was held at Kabiruini show grounds, only less than 10 000 scouts turned up out of the more than 35 000 groups expected to attend.

The British High Commissioner to Kenya, Christian Turner, former Justice Minister, Eugene Wamalwa and Nyeri governor’s wife, Margret Nderitu presided over the event.

scouts, christian turner

However, other counties were holding similar events to commemorate the movement’s founder at their county headquarters, thus they could not travel to the major annual occasion.

According to the Scout national youth program commissioner, Richard Ayaya, this year’s main activity was to plant trees guided by the theme, ‘Environment-My Home, My Life, My Scouting’.

“Our main activity this year is to plant trees and we intend to plant 50 million trees between 2014 and 2017 in partnership with the government,” said Ayaya adding that each scout member was taken through different environment oriented activities during the 4-day camp.

The movement followers were also taken through different trainings including first aid and disaster management.

He said the association has partnered with the environment ministry, Kenya Forest Service and National Bank of Kenya (NBK) among other stakeholders in the planting of trees.

“The scouts and girl guides alone aim to plant 20 million trees and have already planted 15 million from the year 2011 in different parts of the country,” Ayaya added.

He said they are looking forward to recruit more youths in the movement so as to build responsible people in the society and appreciate the activities the movement engages in.

Josphat Gitonga, a national official, announced that each school that has a scout movement will have a green corner where every member will plant 50 trees and nurture them for years to maturity.

There are about 28 million scout movement followers worldwide with Kenya having the highest number of followers totalling up to 500 000.

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