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Embu on course to realize desired tree cover

Embu County is poised to realize the desired 10 per cent tree cover by 2023 if residents sustain the current rate of tree  planting.

The  Eastern Regional Conservator of Forests, Ms Beatrice Mbula, said the county’s forest cover currently stands at 9.2 per cent which is above the national average of 7.2  per cent.

The conservator said residents need to intensify efforts to plant and ensure survival of seedlings, especially in the lower arid and semi-arid areas of the county  which are lagging behind.

She  said that it took only 64 trees per acre of land to achieve the desired cover and that these could be planted along the Shamba boundaries.

Ms. Mbula  was speaking on Friday at the University of Embu during the launch of this year’s tree planting season. The launch ceremony that is normally held in late March or early  April has been delayed due to erratic rainfall this year.

She  said the Kenya Forest Service was this year targeting schools and other institutions and urging them to have ten  per cent of their land under trees as they also inculcate a culture of tree planting and management in their students.

The  Embu County Commissioner (CC),  Abdullahi Galgalo Hiddi said to achieve desired forest cover, citizens must keep planting more trees than a growing population needs to cut  down for their wood needs.

Hiddi said the country’s forests had borne a lot of pressure from the growing population and said citizens must make a commitment to plant trees to the desired 10 per cent.

The  University of  Embu Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academics, Research and Extension, Prof. Kiplagat Kotut speaking at the function emphasized the importance of trees in stabilizing the environment, and said the institution is committed to finding solutions to problems that affect the local community.

He added that the school would continue to involve its entire community in issues of environmental management.

By  Steve  Gatheru

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