A community Based Organization (CBO), dubbed Strengthening Community Resilience (SCORE) has donated over 50,000 seedlings to be planted in public institutions and individual farms to boost forest cover in Homa-Bay County.
The CBO Director David Okiki said the partnership’s aims at curbing the low forest cover in the region and reduce frequent drought in some parts of the county.
Speaking during the launch of the exercise at Mirogi in Kanyamwa-Kosewe Ward in Ndhiwa constituency, Okiki said that they have already identified 100 youth and women groups that will facilitate the implementation of the project called Rural Environmental Sustainable Technology (REST) in the villages.
Okiki said that they took the initiative after realizing that environmental degradation was at alarming levels hence impacting negatively in the region.
“We are planning to engage youths by training them to plant indigenous trees and fruits to create employment opportunities,” said Okiki.
The Director said that they are working closely with other partners from Kakamega and Nyandarua counties including Dedan Kimathi Foundation saying the program calls for collective responsibility.
Among the beneficiary schools in the region include Pala, Nyamago primary and secondary, Got Kojowi Secondary as well as Ratang’a, Magina and Alara primary schools.
“We are calling upon our local leaders to offer support to us as a way of fostering the development to the residents,” he said
The Homa Bay County Conservator David Muigai on his side said that the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is working round the clock to achieve 30% tree cover target, even though the country is at a paltry 3.1% tree cover.
“The KFS has realized that it is an enormous responsibility and that is why we are partnering with organizations like the SCORE project,” said Muigai.
Muigai reiterated that the department is striving to ensure that farmers have tree products in their farms to curb cases of deforestation in trust lands.
By Brian Odhiambo