The deforestation of Mt. Elgon ecosystem due to wanton human activity, has adversely affected livelihood sources for communities surrounding it.
Green Belt Movement, Trans Nzoia Chairperson, Mrs Jane Gitau, made the observation during a mass tree planting exercise at Kimoson village, Monday.
Addressing the press at the venue, Gitau, who led the exercise that involved various stakeholders, including government workers and members of the public, appealed for restrain from destructive human activities in the forest.
A total of 95,000 seedlings of different species were planted in the area.
“This is one of the major efforts carried out by various stakeholders that are aimed at conserving Mt. Elgon forest, which is the region’s main water tower,” remarked Gitau, who was accompanied by Trans Nzoia County Conservator, Mr. George Abuto.
Gitau disclosed the movement had procured the tree seedlings from farmers’ groups, as a way of also promoting local production of the tree seedlings, as well as boosting sources of livelihood.
“We buy seedlings from the local farmers, thereby improving sources of livelihood for about 1,000 households,” she noted.
Area Community Forest Association (CFA) Chairperson, Mr. Bernard Ruto, commended ongoing Mt. Elgon forest reclamation and conservation efforts by the Green Belt Movement since 2018.
“I want to thank the Green Belt Movement and the Kenya Forest Service for their commendable work in reclaiming Mt. Elgon forest since 2018,” remarked Ruto, adding the movement had successfully reclaimed about 2,000 hectares of the expansive forest.
According to the CFA, most farmers close to the forest had begun to appreciate the efforts which have improved soil fertility, resulting in improved crop production on the farms.
He cited increased production of vegetables, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and other seasonal crops in the region.
CFA urged Kimoson residents to embrace ongoing forest conservation initiatives since they were the most beneficiaries.
By Ngeywa Mosobin