Egerton University has collaborated with Narok Court Users Committee (CUC) to plant about 2, 000 tree seedlings at Etiang wetlands area, in Narok North Sub County.
The Wetlands is one of the catchment lands of Njoro River, and its conservation is one of the flagship projects on environmental conservation under the vision 2030 being executed by Egerton University.
The court users were led by Narok Environment and Land Court (ECL) Judge Justice Charles Mbogo and Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, while the Egerton fraternity was led by Professor Charles M’Erimba.
The team planted various species of indigenous trees including; Cider, Croton, Oleary, Pluneret, Macadamia species that are suitable for the wetlands.
Justice Mbogo asked the residents to continue conserving the wetland area because it is the source of River Njoro that flows all the way to Lake Nakuru that is the home of many ostriches.
The judge pleaded with the residents not to destroy their environment by cutting trees, challenging them to set apart a piece of land in their farms to plant trees so that the country can attain the 15 billion tree cover that the current administration has committed to plant in ten years.
“We inherited this land from others who were before us and we will also leave it to another generation. The best thing we can do is to conserve the environment for the sake of future generations,” he said.
Commissioner Masinde asked residents to take advantage of this rainy season to plant trees in their farms, along the road and in any empty space adding that apart from conserving the environment, trees have a huge benefit as they can be a source of income.
He asked residents to visit the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) offices for advice on how to plant trees and get free seedlings that they can plant in their farms.
On his part, Professor M’Erimba reiterated the Egerton University embarked in the conservation of the water catchment land in the year 2011 in the efforts of rehabilitating Njoro River that is the main source of water for Lake Nakuru.
“We all know that Lake Nakuru is a home of millions of flamingos, hippos and other animals that act as a source of tourist attraction,” said the professor.
He explained that the Njoro River catchment is approximately 280 square kilometers with its source being at the Mau Forest and mouth at Lake Nakuru a distance of 55 kilometers.
The river that is the main source of water at the Egerton University has a catchment population of approximately 600,000 people.
Apart from planting trees, the professor said, they built watering troughs where the livestock take water without interfering with the catchment land.
“Why we are planting trees on this catchment today is to improve forest cover, improve the quality of water that flows in our rivers and support community initiatives of conserving the environment,” he added.
The tree planting activity was also attended by Narok Senior Council at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Duncan Ondimu, Narok County Security team led by the Narok County Police Commander John Kizito and Egerton University’s Communication Director Agnes Mwangi.
By Ann Salaton