The initiative is part of government efforts to plant 32 billion trees by 2032. PHOTO/KNA
By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
A total of 18 million trees will be planted in the North Rift conservancy this planting season according to the regional conservator Anthony Musyoka as the country seeks to plant 32 billion trees by 2032.
Mr Musyoka said so far a total of 4 million trees have already been planted in the conservancy which consists of Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Transzoia, West Pokot and Turkana counties.
Speaking during a tree planting exercise at the Iten police station, the conservator said the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) was offering technical advice to individuals and groups wishing to start tree nurseries in a bid to have enough seedlings for planting.
“So far we have enough seedlings in the various KFS offices and within the community but we need to upscale the production to meet the demand,” he said.
According to Kenya News Agency (KNA), the regional conservator said that they were carrying out an extensive campaign to reach out to individual farmers, institutions and all stakeholders to plant trees even as the government concentrates in planting trees in gazetted forests.
Noting that the planting of trees is a collaboration between the government and all stakeholders, Mr Musyoka called on farmers to ensure that they set aside at least 30% of their farms for tree planting.
“Each individual has a responsibility to plant trees to mitigate against the effects of climate, land degradation and soil erosion,” he said.
Keiyo North deputy county commissioner Julius Maiyo called on residents to move from just planting of trees to ensuring that they grow saying most trees planted do not mature due to destruction through grazing.
He said each assistant chief in the county had been given a target of ensuring that 3,000 trees are planted in their areas of jurisdiction for the county to meet its target.
The deputy governor Prof Grace Cheserek said the county had set a target of planting 60 million trees in five years which translates to 5 million trees per year.
She said the county was encouraging farmers to plant fruit trees and coffee especially along the escarpment alongside other trees which will not only earn them an income but also guard against landslides especially during the rainy season.
The county police commander Francis Nguli said the force will plant trees in all its offices in the sub counties as part of their contribution to the increment in forest cover.