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Gava in gumboots unites the nation, but how many trees planted?

Introduction

This trend analysis report picks topics covered from November 13 to 19, 2023. The report illuminates not just the what, but the why and how of trending topics, affirming the media’s profound impact on shaping public perception and steering the course of national conversations. Some of the trending topics this week include #TreePlantingDay and Kenya’s green initiatives, to the intriguing personalities like Richard Ngatia and Cliff Ombeta commanding digital attention. We embark on a journey to dissect the nuances of these trends and their far-reaching implications for media in Kenya.

1. #TreePlantingDay, #JazaMiti

On Monday, President William Ruto, accompanied by First Lady Rachel Ruto, officiated the inaugural National Tree Planting Day. The event took place at Kiu Wetland in Makindu, Makueni County, where the President led the planting of more than 150,000 trees. The collective dedication showcased during the event underscores a commitment to sustainable environmental practices and the preservation of our nation’s natural heritage. The Government Spokesperson announced that 150 million trees were planted during the exercise, a figure that has been disputed. It is estimated that only 10 million trees were planted according to Jaza Miti App.

Under the hashtag #TreePlantingDay, social media witnessed an impressive ascent, securing the top spot for over nine hours. Concurrently, #JazaMiti claimed the fourth position, trending for an impressive duration of over 10 hours.


Impact on media

The involvement of top leadership in an environmentally conscious initiative enhanced the public perception of the government. This positivity extended to the media coverage, shaping how the public views the administration’s commitment to ecological concerns. The media needs to follow the story and give details of the actual number of trees planted during the exercise. The media coverage of the large-scale tree-planting initiative contributed to increased environmental awareness among the public. This sparked discussions and interest in sustainable practices, influencing public behavior and attitudes towards environmental issues.
EPRA

The cost of fuel remained unchanged, while diesel and kerosene prices dropped Sh2 per litre in the latest review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority. In Nairobi, Super petrol is sold at Sh217.36, while diesel and kerosene are at Sh203.47 and Sh203.06. EPRA gained significant attention on social media, trending with 18K tweets for over 21 hours.

Impact on media

Fluctuations in fuel prices, especially when they involve a reduction, tend to attract public attention. Media outlets gave significant coverage to these changes, explaining the reasons behind them and their implications for consumers. This contributed to increased public interest in economic news.

Flooding

Most parts of Mombasa County experienced flooding even as the rains continue to pound most parts of the country. Several residences were destroyed, leaving many homeless. During the monitoring period Mombasa surged to the 8th position on the trending charts, amassing over 12,000 tweets and maintaining its prominence for an impressive duration of more than nine hours.


Impact on media

The fact that Mombasa trended on social media for over nine hours with a significant tweet count heightened media visibility. This increased visibility attracted the attention of traditional media outlets, leading to extensive coverage of the flooding and its aftermath. News agencies found the story compelling for their audiences. The coverage also highlighted the laxity in preparedness of different counties even as the rains continue to cause havoc in most parts.

#OmtatahWaJaba

The hashtag #OmtatahWaJaba dominated social media discussions throughout the day, sparked by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah’s allegations against the government. Omtatah asserted that businesswoman Ann Njeri Njoroge was supported by the government in the controversial Sh17 billion fuel deal. According to Omtatah, who shared his claims on X (formerly Twitter) last Saturday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u orchestrated the funding in June for the fuel importation, suggesting that Njoroge is merely a pawn in this larger financial arrangement. The hashtag secured the second position in the trending list and sustained its momentum for over 10 hours, underscoring the public’s engagement and interest in the unfolding developments.


Impact on media

Given the gravity of the allegations, there may be calls for thorough investigative journalism to verify the claims. Media outlets have a responsibility to conduct unbiased reporting to provide the public with accurate information while adhering to ethical standards.

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