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County to establish eco-tourism site at Iveti Forest

An eco-tourism site is set to be established at Iveti forest in Kathiani Sub County in Machakos as a tourist attraction while at the same time conserving the forest for sustainability for nature walks and relaxing.

Machakos Forest Conservator Ms. Mary Mwai while speaking to the press at Iveti Forest during the International forest day, said that they are looking forward to getting visitors at the eco-tourism site to generate revenue for the county and also diversify recreational facilities on offer for residents and visitors to sample.

She said it is important for Machakos people to find time from work to unwind and have fun at the eco-tourism site in the forest. “This will be a game changer for Machakos people and visitors from other areas where they will have an opportunity to enjoy nature walks, interact in social gatherings, and go for picnics,” said Mwai.

She said there are a lot of benefits that come from the eco-tourism such as zip lining which will attract people from all walks of life, thus bringing in money and encouraging more developments and employment opportunities.

Mwai asked Iveti residents that the only way they will manage to establish an eco-tourism site is by maintaining the forest and protecting it from destruction by fire and deforestation.

“I implore you to plant and maintain these trees in the forest and the ones at home because the benefits of trees are a lot since forest cover brings rain and freshens the air that we all need,” added the Forest Conservator.

She pointed out that Iveti forest, which is 347 acres, is the biggest and only gazetted forest in Machakos and so it is the responsibility of residents to maintain it since other counties have over 20,000 acres.

Kathiani Deputy County Commissioner Ms. Mary Kamau encouraged Machakos people to take advantage of the rains and plant more trees especially along the river banks, water catchment areas, in institutions and their homesteads.

Kamau hailed the people of Kathiani that after the presidential directive to plant 15 billion trees by 2030, they have managed to plant over 4,000 trees in the Sub County. She also warned Kathiani people against sand harvesting along the riverbanks, especially Thwake River and Muoni Dam.

“We have talked to the people who are scooping sand, planting crops such as arrow roots and grazing their animals near Muoni Dam to desist because soon the dam will dry up,” said Kamau.

The International Day of Forests was proclaimed on March 21st 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly, to celebrate and raise awareness on the importance of conserving all types of forests.

The Theme for 2023 is “Forests and Health,” all countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees such as tree planting campaigns.

By Anne Kangero

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