Barclays Bank of Kenya (Barclays Kenya) has joined other Kenyans in marking the World Environment Day, with events in seven regions across the country.

Through the Barclays Eco-champ programme, the employees drawn from the bank participated in tree planting, clean up campaigns and quizzes in schools and communities in Nairobi, Homa Bay, Wote and other parts of the country.

The main highlight of the Bank’s activities was at Chaleta Primary School which is one of the schools participating in the Eco-Champs programme, where Barclays Kenya Chairman, Mr. Francis Okomo-Okello and the Bank’s employees participated in a clean-up exercise to mark the global event.

Mr. Okello commended the pupils of the school for their continued fervor towards environmental conservation.

“I wish to congratulate the school community for taking initiatives that have made a difference such as establishing a tree nursery; organizing a waste management system; recycling; and establishing compost pits,” he said.

Barclays Citizenship agenda on the environment includes capacity building in public schools, funding of social enterprises, and publishing of research on the area of Climate Change. According to Met study commissioned by Barclays, persistent drought caused by climate change directly impacts Kenya’s economic potential.

The study found that the drought between 1998 and 1999 caused an overall loss amounting to 16% of GDP with around 85% of this incurred through foregone hydropower and falls in industrial production.

So far 16 schools, two in each province, are beneficiaries of the Barclays Eco-Champs programme, which aims to raise awareness on the environmental concerns as well as improve the flora and fauna in various school communities.

Mr. Okello said the Bank has been encouraged by the zeal exhibited by pupils in the participating schools, with impressive results to show.

The Chairman commented on Barclays long-standing commitment towards mitigating and possibly reversing the negative impact of climate change – in an effort to support the country’s future sustainable growth.

“Barclays invests in conservation efforts in keeping with our long-term objective of mitigating the impact of climate change. Raising a generation of Kenyans who reject the practices of environmental degradation and mismanagement is the way of the future”, Mr. Okello concluded.

Compilled by Lillian Kaivilu