• May 23, 2024
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15 billion trees target is achievable – CS Jumwa

15 billion trees target is achievable – CS Jumwa

Lugari

Saturday May 11 2024

KNA by Melechezedeck Ejakait

Gender, Culture, the Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa has expressed optimism that Kenya will accomplish its target of planting 15 billion trees by 2032 in a bid to achieve 30 percent tree cover.

Jumwa made the remarks during Kakamega County’s National Tree Growing Day event at Nzoia Forest station in Lugari Sub-County where she led in the planting of 34,000 trees.

She lauded Kakamega residents and the local leadership for supporting President William Ruto’s national tree growing and ecosystem restoration campaign saying it will play a great role in mitigating climate change effects.

“It is our responsibility as Kenyans to ensure we have a country that attracts its own rainfall and guards itself against the dangers associated with climate change,” she said.

Jumwa who revealed that she is now in charge of tree planting activities in Kwale and Kakamega county disclosed that her ministry is on the verge of realizing its annual target of planting 500 000 trees.

“So far we have planted about 360,000 trees and we hope to plant the remaining 140,000 in the next two months,” she said.

The CS asked the governors to emulate the president and set aside special days for tree planting in their respective counties where the county staff leads members of the public in tree planting activities.

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said his administration fully supports the national tree growing exercise and has set a target of planting 5million trees annually and protecting the existing forests.

“The national tree growing exercise is idea for the entire country. We receive heavy rainfall in Kakamega because of the vast forest cover and we don’t take it for granted.”

He said noting that currently each event across the county kicks off with a tree planting exercise. He said the county government planted 100000 inside Kakamega forest which is the only remaining rain forest in East and Central Africa and it has set aside Sh.100 million for its fencing and protection.

Lugari lawmaker Nabii Nabwera asked the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry to always give priority to local communities during tree harvesting periods.

He said it is unfair for Community Forest Associations to plant trees and take care of forests but when the time to harvest comes they are sidelined and priority given to unknown individuals.

He said: “We are not going to allow that. The forest laws say Community Forest Associations must be given the first opportunity during the tree harvesting times.

“Today we have planted 34,000 trees then after sometime we shall see people from as far as Molo, Machakos and Garissa coming to harvest them. That is very unfair. We are not mean but we should be given the first opportunity.”

Nabwera revealed that he is collaborating with the National Youth Service under a programme that will see each of the 112 primary schools and 56 secondary schools benefit from 2000 tree seedlings in a week’s time.

“We are also going to plant trees in each public land within the constituency as a safeguard against grabbers.”

He noted adding that his office intends to plant another 100,000 trees this season in Lugari Sub County.

Courtesy: KNA

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