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Call for action to save indigenous trees

A Campaign to sensitize the public on importance of planting rare indigenous trees which are getting extinct has started in Kiambu County.

The Campaign that is organised by Kenya Forest Services (KFS) in conjunction with Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) has targeted indigenous trees.

Kiambu has been named among three other counties Embu, Meru and Marsabit as targeted, due to reports that ten rare indigenous and select exotic trees which include cedar, African bamboo, dombeya, cypress, pine, grevillea robusta, Brucea macrocarpa, Knobwood and eucalyptus are in the verge of getting extinct in these counties.

With KEFRI in the forefront of the production of these indigenous trees seedlings, the campaign is aimed at complimenting the Government’s target to increase the national tree cover from 7.2 per cent of 10 per cent by 2022.

The Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau who launched the planting campaign in Old Kijabe Forest in Kiambu County said the indigenous trees have important uses hence should be prevented from getting endangered for future generations.

“Some of these indigenous tree species contain medicinal content that are crucial in defining our heritage and culture as our ancestors used these trees and shrubs to cure diseases,” said Kamau.

He further urged communities living near the forests to safeguard the natural resources and ensure that tree growing was part of their livelihood to avert degradation.

“Community Forest Associations (CFAs) are key allies in our efforts to increase the forest cover,” Kamau noted.

County Environment Council Member (CECM) Mr. David Kuria said Kiambu has so far planted over two million trees in schools, hospitals, county government facilities.

“I am glad Kiambu is among the counties in the country with the highest number of trees planted in the last 5 years,” Kuria said.

By Grace Naishoo

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