Tharaka Nithi Deputy Governor Eng. Francis Kagwima has called on government agencies mandated to work on environment related fields to partner with the county government to clear trees with high affinity for water from riparian lands.
“I want to invite National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the Upper Tana Development Authority and all other government agencies touching on environmental issues to partner with the county government to uproot eucalyptus and other trees draining water from riparian lands,” he said.
Eng. Kagwima, who was presiding over the launch of short rainfall tree planting campaign at Kambungu primary school in Igambang’ombe sub-county Friday described tree planting as a big step towards planning for an environmentally friendly future.
He said droughts and water shortages have been frequently experienced in the County, hence the need to take urgent measures to address the eucalyptus menace.
The Deputy Governor called on area residents to embrace President Kenyatta and the national government’s target of planting 2 billion trees by the year 2022 through planting as many trees as possible in their farms and government institutions.
He further called on the farmers to put a lot of emphasis in harvesting rain water during this rainy season for domestic and irrigation purposes, adding that the county government is targeting to create 160 check-dams from the rivers within the county in the same spirit.
Speaking during the event, the CEC for Lands, Physical Planning, Urban Development, Water & Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources Eng. Jasper Nkanya added that with trees, there is better prospects of economic growth since good climate means better harvest.
The CEC asked county residents to ensure that they plant trees and make terraces in their farms to prevent soil erosion besides teaching their children to plant trees during this long holiday.
Similar sentiments were echoed by the the county Ecosystem Conservator James Mburu who disclosed that they are purposing to achieve a green zone that will not only benefit them but the whole country in general.
Mburu warned thos cutting indigenous trees and anybody else involved in harvesting trees without a license that they risk being fined heavily or even being imprisoned for long jail terms once apprehended.
“For those involved in cutting of trees without a permit whether in their farms or not have their days numbered. Ensure you are not caught in the vice since you face hefty fines or long jail terms,” emphasized the Ecosystems Conservator.
By David Mutwiri