In April last year, Bolt announced a partnership with Seed Balls Kenya to plant eleven million indigenous trees and unique grass species across the country.
This is a unique and crucial step towards reforestation and environmental recovery because most other efforts, though well meaning, use plantation or exotic trees.
Native trees easily adapt to their local ecosystems, and so they thrive better and have better power against local pests. Many have wider roots and wider leaves for good coverage, and indigenous grasses work better for surface cover against moisture loss. Studies have shown that the increase in landslides in recent years is due partly to weak tree roots, and lack of surface cover like that which is provided by grass, and other surface plants. We have destroyed too much indigenous tree cover, and it is only fair that we plant the same kind of trees.
With indigenous trees, not only are we improving tree cover, but the lives of animals and wildlife that depend on them too. For instance, small animals like bugs, butterflies and birds have always easily found their food and good shelter from these trees. Animals and bugs are part and parcel of a healthy ecosystem which is crucial for recovery of what our lands have lost.
Seedballs Kenya is an organization that provides indigenous tree and grass seeds encased in a ball. A seed ball therefore is “a seed inside of a ball of charcoal dust mixed with some nutritious binders”. Source.
The brilliant thinking behind seedballs is that the ball casing keeps seeds intact until conditions are right for them to germinate. They are therefore safe from birds, insects, extremely hot weather, and any other vagaries out there. This unique approach means that trees can be planted even in dry seasons and since seed balls do not actually require any preparation, conservation enthusiasts will just need to throw them in areas of need and when conditions are right for growth, they will germinate.
The beauty of the partnership between Bolt and Seedballs Kenya is that it bolsters Bolt’s existing efforts towards a greener world. Some of the company’s most notable initiatives in line with its sustainability agenda are the introduction of hybrid and electric cars under Bolt Green, and that of electric tuk tuks and e-bicycles for Bolt Food couriers. These give passengers and food customers alike the chance to participate in greening the earth. The addition of the seedballs program marks an evolution in Bolt’s strategy by supporting local initiatives to generate better environmental impacts. Indigenous seeds take longer to grow and it is laudable that Bolt has gotten onto this program in good time.
These initiatives are a few examples of Bolt’s commitment to balance the carbon emissions from their rides in the market, and to become a greener company and play their part in the Government’s outlook to have 10% tree cover this year.