11 May 2017

Kenya: Kilifi Govt to Plant 1.8m Trees to Battle Deforestation

The Kilifi government plans to plant 1.8 million trees in the next two months.

The exercise follows a week of heavy rains after months of drought.

Environment chief officer Andrew Makoti and assistant director Elizabeth Sidi told journalists in Kilifi town that the exercise is undertaken by his department in conjunction with the Kenya Forest Service.

Mr Makoti said other partners in the environment sector in the region were also involved in the exercise.

"Our main target is to end deforestation and bring sanity to our environment. A healthy environment is a paramount to us and that is why we are undertaking this exercise in all the seven sub-counties," said Mr Makoti.

REPRIEVE

He said the targeted institutions include schools, health facilities and farmer groups.

He said that the tree planting exercise will be a reprieve to farmers and residents after another ambitious project, The Commercial Woodlot project was affected by drought in 2015 and 2016.

"We had a very nice project where farmers were given free seedlings by the county government to address the effects of deforestation but it failed because of the drought that swept the region in 2015/2016," said Mr Makoti.

Ms Sidi said the exercise had kicked off in Kilifi South, Kaloleni and Kilifi North.

Our aim is to make sure that the 1.8 million tree seedlings currently in county's eight nurseries have been planted across the county.

DONATIONS

We also have cement manufacturers Mombasa Cement and Athi River who donated 30,000 and 25,000 tree seedlings respectively," she said.

The director further said the two companies had agreed to share their sites with her department after the tree planting exercise.

Ms Sidi said Magarini Charcoal Producers Association (MCPA) had also donated 300,000 tree seedlings towards the initiative with Green Umbrella and Nature Kenya donating 200,000 and 50,000 seedlings respectively.

"Kenya Forest Services will give out 50,000 seedlings, and we also have farmer groups in Magarini that have given out 550,000 seedlings," she said.

Mr Makoti said the tree planting program which has been in existence since 2013 had led to the planting of more than 10 million trees in the county. He added that the project was at one time re-directed to some schools as a case study and a show of success.

"We have schools like Uyombo Primary School in Kilifi North Sub County which currently has a nursery with more than 5,000 seedlings. In Rabai, the project was directed to Jeuri Primary School which has now a total of 5,500 seedlings.

Kenya

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