Long time ago in the lands of Ajabu, there lived a King called King Maurice, he had 10 children, an fully armed 3,000 soldiers, 200 servants, 400 camels, 4,000 cattle and goats and a vast land rich of fertile soils with a large plantations of strawberries, sugarcane, maize, wheat and coffee. However, he possessed gold, silver and bronze and many other valuable possessions.
The king`s family of 10 had a very beautiful daughter, whose name was princess Freesia. Princess Freesia was the only daughter of the King, she was dark with curved hips and her eyes were literally like the night sky. The Princesses was indeed a very beautiful girl with an attractive character and personality that made every man to get attracted to her. Princess Freesia beauty and character resulted to a heavy admiration and a hand in marriage offers from Kings, Princes, young handsome men and rich businessmen from the Lands of Ajabu and nearby Kingdoms. Therefore, King Maurice took a lot of pride in the attractive beauty of her daughter and vowed to reward the man who will marry daughter with anything the princess wished for.
Princess Freesia was a fun, loving and caring woman who loved to socialize with children and her peers a lot. Her hobbies were swimming, drawing and painting, singing, dancing and storytelling. The Princess spent most of her time in the rivers as she enjoyed the cool waters flowing down the river and the cool winds that blew due to the vast forest coverage of tree species around the rivers of Ajabu.
In over 5 years, the people of Ajabu had started clearing forests for settlements, charcoal business, building infrastructure and setting up extensive agricultural farming plantations and industrial production. All these, human activities pressured natural resources like the rivers, streams and springs, forests, biodiversity species like flowers and birds, vegetation cover i.e. shrubs and bushes among others. Therefore, the resultant effects were short rainfalls, a decline of water resources in rivers, streams and springs and an abrupt change in climatic conditions. These climatic conditions adversely affected the livelihoods of people of Ajabu who were mostly peasant farmers and largely depended on subsistence farming to earn a livelihood.
The sudden and immediate environmental change made the princess angry, because she had missed the cool breeze that used to come from trees in the river and cool waters that she used to enjoy and at times swim in the river. She got upset and decided to tell the King, the king asked her the solutions and she proposed to start donating tree seedlings for a mass tree planting and growing of trees in the Kingdom.
The princess started mobilizing both the young and old people of Ajabu to start tree planting in the Kingdom. This created a lot of enthusiasm to the young handsome men who wanted to give the princess a hand in marriage. Everyone, including the nearby Kings, prince, rich business men and the people of Ajabu started adopting a number of trees, some planted whilst others participated in growing and maintenance of trees. This collective responsibility on climate action was highly praised by nearby kingdoms, people of Ajabu.
A change in the environment was automatically felt by everyone over the years. With people of Ajabu citing an increase in forests cover creating a favorable micro-climate condition in the area. The lands of Ajabu started being filled with food, trees, biodiversity, water and everyone was happy to access natural resources at ease and this contributed to the prosperity of Kingdom Ajabu.
Following Princess Freesia acts on conserving the environment she was declared a heroine and later got a hand of marriage from a young prince who supported her environmental conservation efforts. Seeing this heroic acts the King was so happy to see her daughter change the environment and getting married. The King ordered the princess to say her wish and princess Freesia suggested planting of more trees in the Kingdom.
A mass planting of over 5 million trees was initiated though the leadership and passion of princess Freesia. This action resulted to relatively moderate rainfall in the land of Ajabu, a consequent change was evident with a heavy contribution of healthy crops in the farms, adequate clean water from the rivers, streams and springs and improved sanitation in the villages. That’s how a princess saved the environment.
Writer: Maurice Gathu Munga