Nyeri County Commissioner, Mohammed Barre, has kicked off an ambitious tree planting exercise which will see 258,000 tree seedlings planted in the county every week.
Barre has stated the initiative is in support of the state’s plan to plant five billion trees per year, as well as the presidential directive to all Kenyans to support the government by planting 300 trees.
Through the initiative, the County Commissioner has apportioned a 3,000 tree seedlings target per week to each location in the county.
Barre stated that he had already made plans with the 12 forest stations to propagate and provide tree seedlings.
“We will be obtaining from seedlings from the five forest stations in Aberdares and the seven stations in Mount Kenya. Additionally, we have a total of 86 locations in the County and 40 of these locations have tree nurseries in the chief’s office, which will also provide seedlings for the initiative,” said Barre.
To actualize the ambitious plan, Nyeri South Sub-County forest officer, Josh Patel, said they are targeting learning institutions, where individual students will each be responsible for a tree.
Patel noted that the institutions that have already been earmarked include 500 primary and secondary schools, seven universities, polytechnics and TVETs spread across the eight sub-counties.
“We will also go to tea and coffee factories to support us. To ensure that the trees survive, we are adopting the approach, where a child or a student adopts a tree and they will be responsible for taking care of it until it grows,” said Patel.
The country’s forest cover stands at 8.83 per cent according to the National Forest Resources Assessment Report. Nyeri County leads with 40.89 per cent forest cover and a tree cover of 45.17 per cent.
Despite being in the lead, the County Commissioner, who was speaking when he led pupils at Kiaguthu Primary, Othaya in a tree planting exercise, has said that the county has the potential to hit the 45 per cent mark in the next five years.
“Because of the availability of land, our expectation is that in the next 10 years, we will surpass the national target and attain 45 per cent forest cover by 2027 and 50 per cent by 2032,” stated Barre.
By Wangari Mwangi