Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority (ENSDA) has established over 230 acres of bamboo plantation in Nkoben and parts of Maasai Mau forest aimed at boosting forest cover in the county.
The organization’s Technical Services Chief Manager Mr. Ali Boru said about 465, 000 bamboo seedlings have already been planted in the forestland and its environs this year.
The manager was speaking during a County Development and Implementation Committee meeting chaired by Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki in his boardroom yesterday. The meeting was also attended by Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) representative Ms. Loise Shuma.
Boru reported that the organization has established a bamboo multiplication center where over two million seedlings have been propagated. “We began the bamboo propagation project in 2016 and we believe by the year 2022 we will have distributed many seedlings to individuals and institutions in a bid to improve the forest cover,” said the Technical services manager.
At the same time, Boru reported that they are in the process of establishing a Bamboo processing factory where residents can sell their mature bamboo to earn an income. “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.
He told the meeting that they have already sensitized 573 farmers on Bamboo planting and established 163 acres of bamboo farms across the county. “We are training and working with the local community so that they too can benefit from the bamboo project. The farmers are expected to train other farmers who will also train others on bamboo farming,” said Boru.
He cited the community’s slow adaption to bamboo farming and lack of adequate funding to promote the initiative as their major challenges with commissioner Achoki encouraging farmers to venture into the Bamboo farming business as the tree took less time to mature compared to other tree species and had numerous benefits.
“It is unfortunate that many people want to cut trees more than they want to plant. 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 reminded residents that trees have a benefit of holding soil on the ground hence preventing soil erosion as well as mitigating mudslides and floods during rainy seasons.
By Ann Salaton