Kenya’s economy is primarily depended on natural resources. Mt. Kenya forest which is one of the most critical natural resource and also the largest water catchment area in the country, is currently undergoing serious environmental degradation due to climate change and illegal human activities
This was said by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu when she opened a workshop to discuss private sector engagement with the government in the restoration of the Mt. Kenya ecosystem.
The CS pointed the importance of this forest in sustaining livelihoods, supporting food production, generating hydropower and providing freshwater for industrial and domestic use. She further noted that many companies rely on natural resources for running their businesses and should therefore join the Government in demonstrating their commitment in environmental restoration and management for a strong ecosystem.
Prof. Wakhungu said that many governments were facing budgetary constraints on public funding with Natural Resource Management initiatives receiving little attention. In an effort to rehabilitating Mt. Kenya ecosystem therefore, the CS said that Kenya Forest Service (KFS) was closely working with Community Forest Associations (CFAs) and Site Support Group to rehabilitate the degraded areas identified within the ecosystem.
CS revealed that under Plantation Establishment Livelihoods Improvement Scheme (PELIS) Programme, KFS through CFAs has planted 200,000 trees equivalent of 200 hectares in Gathiuru forest. She also added that Nature Kenya had also supplemented this effort by growing more than 11,000 indigenous tree seedlings at the same forest site, through the support of World Trust Land.
She thanked the East African Breweries Limited for the initiative to plant 100,000 trees and Vivo Energy through the ‘Lungs for Kenya initiative’ whose focus for 2017 was on Mt. Kenya restoration.
Present during the event were the Conservation Secretary in the Ministry of Environment Mr. Gideon Gathaara among others.