If you have been reading the news, I am sure you have seen the images and highlights of the floods ravaging parts of Kenya. Bridges are being swept away, landslides are covering homes and the water is sweeping away countless vehicles…The death toll to date is over 160 people.  Is there a connection between this destructive flooding and trees?

You might be wondering, how does a country swing from 2 years of no rainfall to two months of so much rainfall that it becomes destructive?

Flash flooding is a complex phenomenon. It is influenced by various interconnected factors, each contributing to the heightened risk and severity of flooding events. One of the most significant factors is deforestation. Today, we would like to focus on the conenction between flooding and trees.


The Connection between Flooding and Trees


Trees are one of mother nature’s most unique gifts to man. Forests play a very crucial role in regulating hydrological cycles by absorbing and storing rainfall and reducing surface runoff. The massive root systems of trees are so powerful that they hold incredible amounts of water and soil together even in times of intense rainfall.

Think of forest root systems like sponges that have a very high water absorbency ability


As tree roots grow into the soil, they create little passages which the rainwater flows into rather than running off the land. This root system also holds the soil in place, stopping valuable and nutrient-rich topsoil being washed away into rivers and streams, which can contribute to flooding in times of heavy rainfall. See the interconnection between flooding and trees now?

It is also interesting to note that we are experiencing the most destruction in parts of Kenya that have undergone severe deforestation. Central Kenya is a good example, the area is suffering greatly from flash floods, but it is also one of the areas where a lot of forests have been cut down for agricultural expansion and logging.


What can you and I do?


There’s no doubt that addressing the effects of flooding requires our collective efforts.  A simple step you can take is: plant a tree or two, or even twenty! By planting trees, you’re not only contributing to flood prevention efforts but also supporting ecosystem restoration and climate resilience.

If you cannot plant yourself, partner with us as we train the next generation of enviromentalists and teach them to plant and grow trees The Impact of Environmental Education on School Communities – Miti Alliance.

Let’s join hands and plant trees to protect our communities from flooding and create a better future for all.