Sunday, January 26, 2020

The government has widened the net to incorporate more partners including Equity Bank into the aggressive tree planting campaign that aims at achieving the 10% forest cover in the country.

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Board Chairman Peter Kinyua said besides chipping in Sh50 million into tree planting and environment conservation the government is bringing on board more stakeholders in order to achieve the vision.

“As I speak, Equity Bank has agreed to lower interest rates for farmers who want to buy seedlings to plant in their pieces of land which should be a big boost to what the government has provided,” said the KFS chairman.

Speaking during a tree planting event at Kiurani Boys’ High School. Maara Sub-county in Tharaka Nithi county Kinyua further disclosed that with the help of Community Forest Associations (CFAs) and local leaders, KFS will be able to strengthen the security of trees on mountains and hills.

“Kenya Forest Service can do very little to protect Kiera hill without your support and your leaders. As the community near this hill you are best placed to partner with us in protecting it by reporting those who are involved in cutting the trees,” said the KFS Boss referring to a hill in the neighbourhood.

Kinyua also noted that through CFAs the community will be able to benefit with projects such as bee keeping which is currently a very lucrative income generating activity in many parts of the country.

Speaking during the event Tharaka Nithi County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Lands, Physical Planning, Urban Development, Water & Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources Eng. Jasper Nkanya asked the community to support institutions and other stakeholders involved in maintaining the environment.

The CEC revealed that the county government is working together with national government and other stakeholders to ensure that trees are planted all over the county.

Eng. Nkanya however, asked the KFS and other stakeholders, to allocate one of the 40 hills in the county to the Kenya Tea Development Authority and more specifically Weru Tea Factory for them to be planting and harvesting trees and lessen the burden of buying them from individual farms.

“The haphazard purchase of trees from individual farmers exposes the areas to environmental degradation since most farmers do not replace the trees as often as they sell them,” stressed the CEC.

 

The Deputy Environment Conservator of forests Patrick Kariuki asked the CFAs and KFS to visit schools and institutions to educate the young generation on environment conservation for future value.

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