Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo plants a bamboo tree on arrival at the Kaptargat DEB Primary School, Elgeyo Marakwet County

Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo plants a bamboo tree on arrival at the Kaptargat DEB Primary School, Elgeyo Marakwet County

Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo encouraged the growing of bamboo trees to support the Ministry’s agenda to grow 2bilion trees by the year 2022, that will contribute towards increasing the forest cover by at least 10 per cent in the prescribed timelines.

The PS said that in respect to the above, the Kenya Forest Services (KFS) will establish a 100 hectaresexcellent bamboo demonstration model farm for growing seedlings inKeyio Valley to promote the growing of the trees in Kaptargat and Keya at large. “Bamboo is a first maturing tree that takes between 4-5 years to mature and can be used to make numerous items that include furniture, doors and tiles among other, it will significantly reduce the demand for timber that has grossly contributed to deforestation.

Dr. Kiptoo was speaking at Kaptagat DEB Primary school, in ElgeyoMarakwet County today when he officially inaugurated additional five (5) Community Forest Association (CFAs) namely Kaptargat, Kessup, Sabor, Kipkabus and Penon to administratively manage the forest reserve together with Cherengani, Cheptongei, Kapyego, Chesio and Elgeyo.

The PS said the onus was upon the CFAs to manage Kaptaragat forest block that cover 20,491.7 hectares that provides the much need micro climate for high altitude sporting events and supply water to Eldoret town. He cautioned against wanton destruction of forest by felling trees for cooking fuel, over grazing and encroachment on riparian land.

Dr. Kiptoo appraised the community in Kaptargatin ElgeyoMarakwetfor theircommitment to protect the environment adding that the County total land of 301,805 hectares with a total forest area of 93,692 hectares translating to 37.4 % forest cover, making it the second highest in the country and forms a major catchment area for Lake Turkana and Victoria Basins that largely contributes to the overall economy of the country. The PS attributed the large forest cover in the County to the signing of the Transition Implementation Plans (TIPs) by ElgeyoMarakwet Governor Alex Tolgos in 2018 paving way for the Devolved Forest Function to the County.

The PS said the development and enactment of County Forestry Policy and legislation will go a long way in ensuring sustainable practices in the management of natural resources in ex-situ areas, reduce the high dependency on the limited resources for forest management and thereby promote viable interventions to escalate tree planting activities to mitigate against effects of climate change.

Dr. Kiptoo called for concerted effort between the government, development partners and the key stakeholders to employ practical and sustainable strategies towards the achievement of “2billion tree growing campaign by 2022’, adding that empowering Community Forest Associations (CAFs) has so far resulted in the utilization of more than 200,000 assorted indigenousseedlings donated to support conservation and hence mitigate against climate change.

The PS said it was imperative that seedlings were available nationally to facilitate the tree growing calling on communities to invest in tree nurseries for indigenous and fruits and exotic trees that the Ministry can buy and distribute. “Tree nurseries can be commercialized and hence create employment for the youth as well as contribute towards the Ministry’s agenda to increase the national forest f cover by 10% by 2022,” he affirmed.

Dr. Kiptoo appraised the WWF for donating KES1.5million through Kenya Forest Services (KFS) to engage labourto maintain and support the five newly inaugurated CFAs,Sabor, Penon, Kipkabus, Kessup and Kapartagat in increasing tree growing. He acknowledged the effort of partnerships such as NETFUND and WWF Kenya that seek to boost capacities and capabilities in conservation.

Similarly, the PS lauded the KES 2.5 million support from NETFUND through KFSto support seedling production and individual nurseries aims at broadening the gap and hence availing necessary resources for rehabilitation of forests in our pursuit of attaining our goal of an increased 10% forest cover by 2022. He also commended NETFUND for donating water tanks, wheel borrows, spades and other inputs to CFAs to facilitate tree growing in the five forest stations.

Dr. Kiptoolauded the state agencies for the continued support towards the Ministry’s “2billion Tree Growing Campaign’, that objects to increase the forest cover by at least 10per cent by 2022. He urged Kenyans and developments partners to support the initiative that seeksto mitigate the impact of climate change on our environment.

Dr. Kiptoo led CEOs of State Agencies under the Ministry in a tree planting exercise at Kaptargat Primary School, they included, NETFUND CEO, Samson Tuniok, CCF JuliusKamau, Ag, DG KWTA Prof. JuilusTaniu, NECC Secretary, Dr. John Chumo, Governor ElgeyoMarakwet County, H.E Alex Tolgos, the ElegoryMarakwet County Commissioner Mr. Kiharaand the WWF representative Mr. Jackson Kiplagatamong others.



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