Kisumu County taps on students to increase forest cover

Kisumu

Kisumu authorities now intend to involve learners in an ambitious plan aimed at improving tree coverage in the region, terming them as an integral part towards the programme’s success.

Speaking at Rabuor Primary School during a tree planting exercise, Kisumu County Forest Conservator Mark Odero urged each learner and resident to plant and protect at least one tree and ensure they grow to maturity.

Odero said that the county required concerted efforts by different stakeholders to improve its 1.55 per cent forest cover to match the national target of 10 per cent.

He said that Kenya Forest Services (KFS) has intensified tree planting campaigns in schools and public institutions and encouraged locals to take advantage of every available space, including farm boundaries to plant trees.

The Conservator urged the public and institutions to seek guidance from KFS on appropriate tree species to be planted in the different ecological zones.

“The KFS is here to provide technical advice to all stakeholders and the public on the best types of tree species to be planted in an area, depending on several factors. Schools can go for trees that provide shade and windbreak, while for homes, we encourage species with aesthetic value,” Odero highlighted.

He hailed Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o’s administration for setting aside a day every month as the County Tree Planting Day to raise the region’s forest cover.

Acting County Commissioner Hussein Alasow led government officials in Kisumu in the same exercise.

He said the County had embarked on an aggressive afforestation project that targets planting 3,000 trees monthly to boost the region’s forest cover and mitigate the severe effects of climate change.

Alasow  stressed that the campaign corroborates with the nationwide greening crusade that targets to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.

The Kisumu County Tree Planting Initiative is spearheaded by the County Directors and departmental heads from all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs).

Alasow emphasized the need to adopt a multi-sectorial approach to intensify the greening initiative.

“Kisumu County has a target of 320 million trees by 2032. To attain this, every resident should endeavor to plant at least a tree every month for the next 10 years to achieve our target by 2032,” Alasow explained.

He called on the various heads of the MDAs and SAGAs to initiate proper records of the planted tree seedlings in a bid to create verifiable statistics on the progress of the project.

“We should have an accurate database with details of the planted trees by different stakeholders to keep us on track as we focus on realizing the objective,” the Commissioner stated.

By Fredrick Odiero

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