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Residents urged to plant indigenous trees along riparian land

Residents urged to plant indigenous trees along riparian land

Nandi Hills

Friday March 22, 2022

KNA by Ruth Mainye

An environmental lobby group based in Nandi in collaboration with Kenya Forest Service has called on residents to plant indigenous trees along riparian land to enhance environmental conservation.

The Community Based Organisation (CBO) dubbed Kiptapkei seeks to restore indigenous forests which is the habitat to wild animals to ensure no species is extinguished and contribute to environmental conservation as well as tackle the issue of climate change.

Speaking during the International Day of Forests in Nandi County, the County executive committee member for lands, housing, physical planning, environment, water, natural resources and climate change Philemon Bureti noted that trees have numerous benefits to human beings ranging from purifying air, clean water, medicinal herbs, soil conservation and beautifying the environment among others.

Bureti called on those who have eucalyptus trees at the river banks to start eliminating them warning that the County government will soon start cutting them to give space for conservatory trees that are riparian friendly.

He commended the efforts of Kiptapkei and the Kenya Forest Service for organizing the international forest day in Nandi County a platform they utilized to sensitize locals on the importance of indigenous trees as well as measures of environmental conservation.

“I want to call on all people to be ambassadors of environmental conservation. Thanks to Kiptapkei Community organisation and the Kenya Forest service for being at the Frontline,” pointed Bureti.

Kiptabkei patron Joel Malakwen who is also the Founder of the CBO reiterated that its mission is to conserve and restore riparian and wet lands which translates to improved livelihood of people living next to such ecosystems.

Malakwen noted that a collective action on environmental conservation will have a lasting impact on the health and resilience of the ecosystem urging the locals to utilize the opportunity to make a positive difference as well as leave a legacy on the environment for future generations.

The patron said that apart from planting trees Koptabkei plays a great role in ensuring all the trees they grow are taken well of to ensure they grow to maturity noting that planting a tree without naturing it to maturity is a waste of time and resources.

“Together we are demonstrating our unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainability. As a group we propagate tree seedlings then transplant them to the designated areas and nature them to ensure they grow and survive,” he explained.

“Today we planted 5400 trees and we have assigned people to water them until the rains start. We have planted 70, 000 trees in a period of three months. We aim at planting 30 million trees in the next five years,” he said.

Nandi County Forest conservator Dennis Kerengo noted that the County tree cover is still low adding that to achieve 30 per cent tree cover residents should embark on tree planting on their lands.

Kerengo also noted that indigenous trees have numerous advantages and due to their conservatory benefit should be planted at the river banks as per the Kenya’s environmental regulations.

“As population increase, we need to come up with innovations and technologies that contributes to environmental conservation which is key in safeguarding our healthy,” said Kerengo.

He further advised resident and environmental groups to include fruit trees to ensure wild animals get enough food and therefore avoid invading agricultural firms.

Courtesy; KNA

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