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Counties set to plant over 2million trees before devolution conference

All 47 county governments are set to plant over 2 Million trees before the devolution conference to be held in the month of August.

While overseeing the tree planting exercise at Jeremiah Nyaga Technical Institute, Cabinet Secretary in charge of Devolution, Eugene Wamalwa said the Ministry of Devolution is working closely with Council of Governors, Ministry of Environment and other non-state actors to ensure this target is achieved.

Wamalwa said climate change is the biggest threat that is facing mankind and encouraged counties to continue with tree planting exercise to ensure the country achieve 10 per cent forest cover and beyond.

He said the countries are the building blocks within which this can be achieved, appreciating some counties for surpassing the 10 per cent forest cover.

The CS also noted that county assemblies are also in the frontline in cushioning the county against adverse climate change by availing funds and through passing relevant legislations.

He particularly noted that 16 counties have so far approved and passed the Climate Change Act and urged the counties that have not done so to fast track the process.

Governor Vihiga County, Wilberforce Otichilo, who is in charge of environment at COG said the COG is working closely with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Devolution and World Bank in preparing a Sh32 billion project proposal for addressing climate change in the country.

Secretary General, County Assembly Forum, Kipkurui Chepkwony said the 31 remaining counties that have not approved and passed the climate change laws will do so before the 7th devolution conference.

Chepkwony added that the tree planting initiative is timely since soon the county assemblies will be involved in the budget process and will ensure there is budget allocation for the initiative for the governors to implement it.

He also noted that there was a provision in the legislation for a 3 per cent budget allocation for the environment so governors could fast track the 10 per cent forest cover.

He challenged the MCAs to ensure the trees planted in their ward are nurtured to maturity through mobilizing the community.

By Kimani Tirus

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