The Bamboo seedlings planted at Nkoben parts of the Maasai Mau forest where the government evicted over 10, 000 families to reclaim the forestland have now flourished.
Narok County Commissioner, Mr. Evans Achoki commended Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority (ENSDA) for establishing and tendering the bamboo trees that comes with a multiple benefit.
He spoke at the forestland when he led the county Development and Implementation Committee in touring the area to inspect the bamboo plantation and the ongoing forest fencing.
“I am glad that the bamboo planted on the land that once used to live people is now flourishing. The bamboo tree is very profitable as besides conserving the environment, it can be used to make various items like toothpicks, match sticks, furniture and floor decorations,” he said.
Achoki encouraged farmers to venture into the Bamboo farming business as it takes less time to mature compared to other tree spices and has numerous advantages.
“We encourage residents to plant the fast maturing species in their private farms to help attain the 10 percent tree cover in our county,” said Achoki.
He lauded ENSDA for using the locals to plant and tender the trees saying this has helped in boosting the living standards of people living near the forest.
ENSDA organization’s Technical Services Chief Manager Mr. Ali Boru said 200, 000 bamboo seedlings have already flourished in the Nkoben block which is approximately 10, 000 acres.
“We have 22 blocks at the Mau forest that we are targeting to plant the Bamboo seedlings. We began establishing bamboo seedlings in the year 2016 as we target planting over two million bamboo seedlings in the forest land,” said Boru.
The manager encouraged residents to plant bamboo seedlings reiterating that they come with multiple economic benefits.
“We are in the process of establishing a Bamboo processing factory to sell mature bamboo. This will help in creating a market for the farmers who will adapt bamboo farming,” he said.
Mau forest complex, the largest water catchment area in Kenya consists of 22 blocks covering more than 400,000 hectares and extends through several counties including Narok County.
By Ann Salaton