Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has called upon environment stakeholders to put more effort in restoring the degraded ecosystem in the country by engaging in massive tree-planting initiatives to replenish lost forest cover. Tuya said such initiatives would ensure that the country achieved the target of planting and growing at least 15 billion trees by 2032 to plough back the effects of climate change, attributed to the erratic and extreme weather patterns experienced globally in recent times. ‘There should be no boundaries in forest conservation, it is not only for Kenya Forest Service (KFS) business, but also County governments, community Forest service, and citizens to conserve the environment,’ she said during the commissioning of tree planting at Kiu wetlands in MaKindu Sub County, Makueni County. ‘We have already 150,000 trees to be planted here at Kiu and we are also receiving more of support from stakeholders in the tree planting project, which will also provide casual jobs to young people and women who are expected to nurture the growth of the tree seedlings planted during the exercise’ she added. The CS said at least 30% of 15 billion trees that will be grown are fruit trees and encouraged residents to plant fruit trees in their farms to address food and nutritional needs of the citizens. ‘Our pastoralist should also plant fodder trees and they should not necessarily have to cut the trees to feed the animals,’ she added. Tuya added that the government had put in place the measures to take care of the environment and forest. ‘We are setting up a full-fledged unit with a toll-free number of 0800 724 570 for reporting in real-time information about people who are misusing our environment,’ she added. The CS urged the residents to take the tree planting exercise seriously, adding that the forest cover would drastically reduce cases of floods, ravages of climate change and boost food security. The county Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. however, stressed on the need for better collaboration with KFS to enhanced conservation of the forest cover in Makueni. He suggested that the communities should be incorporated in selling tree seedlings, planting and taking care of them to generate income.
Source: Kenya News Agency