Narok County Commissioner, Evans Achoki has led Narok residents in planting over 7, 000 trees at Sierra Leone part of Maasai Mau Forest, where the government evicted people who were living in the forest land.
Achoki said the trees planted are indigenous trees that include Prunus Africana, Podo and bamboo trees which are good for conserving the water catchment area.
He said that already the County has planted 10.7 million trees out of a target of 43 million trees that they have proposed to plant in the entire County this year.
The tree planting exercise was sponsored by Base Titanium Company, which has adapted five hectares of forest block, to plant indigenous trees.
“We are not only planting trees but also keen to tend them so that they can mature quickly and form a beautiful canopy in the forest land,” said the County Commissioner.
He encouraged all residents to plant trees in their homesteads, churches, schools, along the road and in any space available to increase the forest cover in the County.
“We have already started enjoying the fruits of conserving the forest because since people were evicted from the forest land, we have witnessed, increased volume of water in our rivers,” added Achoki.
At the same time, the County Commissioner inspected the ongoing fencing at the forestland and expressed his satisfaction with the way the contractor was carrying the work.
“I have inspected the 30-kilometer fencing around Maasai Mau forest block, which is on course and set to be completed by December this year and I am satisfied with the ongoing work,” said the Commissioner.
The fencing of the forest will help to protect the planted trees from destruction and help in rehabilitating the great water catchment land that is the source of many rivers that feed into Lake Victoria and the Nile Basin.
Narok County Natural Resources Network Chairman Mr Nicholas Murero, asked more institutions to volunteer to own a block in the mega forest for planting trees.
Murero who is also Coordinator of the Base Titanium Tree-Planting Programme, said they have hired 30 eviction victims, who will help in planting trees in the five hectares of forestland that they have adopted.
He said apart from planting trees, the company is training residents on setting up tree seedlings and grafting techniques so that they can set their own nursery beds in their homes.
“I am grateful that the government officials are leading in the tree planting campaign. This gives us confidence that soon we will attain over ten per cent tree cover in our county,” he said.
In the year 2018 and 2019, the government evicted over 50, 000 people from the Maasai Mau Forest reclaiming about 47, 000 acres of forest land in the first and second phases of eviction.
By Ann Salaton