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CS Tuya urges community to embrace fruit tree planting

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Soipan Tuya has called on the Community Forests Associations (CFAs) and Kenyans in general to embrace planting of fruit trees seedlings not only to make the country green but also to enhance food security.

According to the CS, there is need to embrace innovation and look for modern solutions to redeem forest cover.

Speaking at Majani area in Lariak Forest of Laikipia County, during celebrations to mark this year’s International Day of Forests, themed; Forests and Innovation; new solutions for a better world she noted that though there was tremendous efforts to conserve the environment, there is a need to ensure that the planted trees reach maturity.

She urged the community to plant a manageable number of trees that they can monitor and nurture to maturity before embarking on another planting exercise.

On innovation, she said that the country is geared towards using modern approaches to amplify the protection of forests while at the same time empowering the community on their needs.

She applauded the applications that have been developed to better the tree growing initiative like the Jaza Miti application that enabled the government to track trees grown on private, community and public lands for monitoring the 15 billion trees growing strategy.

She also directed the Kenya Forest Service and other partners to focus on fodder trees to tackle the problem the pastoralists’ communities face during dry seasons. This, she said, will ease the pressure put on forest lands by the pastoral communities.

“My ministry is also committed to fence the whole Lariak forest in partnership with KWS to ensure that we minimize the human-animal conflict while at the same time protecting the trees from illegal logging.

“Communities neighboring the Lariak forest have from time to time clashed with elephants that wreak havoc on crops in their farms.

“The government has trained and deployed over 3000 forest rangers that will help strengthen the protection of forests and surveillance while reducing the illegalities in our forests,” said the CS.

She said that since the deployment, the illegalities reported have declined drastically.

She called for an inter-agency approach from all the players to ensure that the tree cover in the country is achieved by 2032.

She added that they have succeeded in convincing the MPs to amend the national government CDF law to enhance the environmental conservation portion from two percent to five percent.

On plastic bags usage for propagating seeds, she said that they are currently moving towards the biodegradable means as well as other innovations away from plastics.

On his side, Laikipia county governor Joshua Irungu, appealed to the government to furnish them with a monitoring and patrol vehicle that will help the community easily tackle the charcoal burning menace in the forest.

“We are very happy that the CS has pledged to ensure we have a fence around the forest because elephants have always been a menace to the neighboring communities especially when their farms produce near maturity,” said the Governor Irungu.

By Antony Mwangi

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