Tana River County Government has introduced Environmental Award Programme to inculcate the culture of tree planting and environmental conservation.
Governor Dhadho Godhana says the program targets the youth, women and people living with disabilities where the groups are encouraged to start tree nurseries to not only benefit from the award but also as an income generating venture.
“We have come up with the County Government Environmental Award Scheme, which aims to encourage the planting of trees. Planting of trees should not be a one-day event but should be our culture to plant trees,’’ said the Governor in an interview with the press
Godhana said the youth and the women will take up the program which targets different species of tree and they can also sell to the county government, hotels and institutions.
He encouraged youth to start nurseries of indigenous tree seedlings, which have become extinct due to farming and exotic seedlings which they can sell.
The environmental award program will recognize and award 10 people in each category and a token sum of money given to the winners.
The county has allocated 18 million to the Hola municipality for beautification of the municipality, and clusters. Youth, PWDs and women will be engaged on a one-year contract to plant trees.
Dhadho further revealed that they want to transform the county to a green city level thus restore the county’s ecosystems that have been affected by climate change.
The governor said Tana River County has three ecosystems including Marine/Saltwater ecosystem, Freshwater ecosystem and terrestrial ecosystem and all the ecosystems in the county have protected areas that must be preserved since they have different benefits.
Dhadho defended his pet project of “Eco-Villages’’ which has faced resistance in some quarters saying they are trying to prevent human activities from destroying the ecosystems.
“When we bring people to live in the “Eco-Villages” with all the basic services and planting of enough trees we are in turn making the other ecosystems to thrive and to contribute to the economy.’’
President Uhuru Kenyatta had issued a directive that the target of 10 percent national tree cover should be achieved by 2022.
By Sadik Hassan