Kenya: Isiolo Residents Urged to Plant More Trees

A tree-planting campaign has been launched in Isiolo county to increase the forest cover, which has been depleting due to the effects of climate change.

The National Construction Authority (NCA) Executive Director Maurice Akech said Kenyans must take it upon themselves to embrace the culture of planting trees to realise the government's 10 percent forest cover target by 2022.

Speaking while overseeing the launch of the exercise at Waso Primary in Isiolo, NCA Corporate Communications officer Milkah Achar said the Authority is planting trees worth Sh2.5 million across the country.

With a big number of residents solely relying on tree felling as their main source of livelihood, the government continues to face a difficult task in ensuring that Kenya has a forest cover of at least 10 percent.

In Ngaremara for instance, due to lack of alternative sources of income, residents have been felling trees in droves to raise money for school fees for their children and provide for the families as pastoralism has proven ineffective.

Infrastructural funding

Accompanied by NCA Upper Eastern coordinator Festus Mariera, the officials asked communities and public schools to apply for the Authority's infrastructural funding to improve their facilities and service delivery.

"We are appealing to government and non-governmental organisations and bodies to also initiate such programmes in schools," said Mr Mariera.

Waso Primary School headteacher Charles Githaiga said the fruit trees will go a long way in ensuring food security and a better ecosystem.

He added that learners will also have a place to shelter themselves from the scorching sun.

"The trees will help in breaking the strong winds common in the area and which have on several occasions blown the roof of our classes," the school head said.

Waso Location Chief James Chuchu offered to assist the school with some NYS cohorts to water the seedlings.

Isiolo Ecosystem Conservator Geoffrey Mwaura said the Kenya Forest Service will continue training residents on how to start on-farm nurseries for economic empowerment.

"Schools should start their own initiatives so that we have as many trees as possible. The planted trees should be attended to so that they reach maturity," said Mr Mwaura.

The NCA officials appealed to residents to shun cutting down trees but plant more to beat climate change.

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