Equity bank has led residents of Elgeyo Marakwet in planting 5,000 trees to commemorate the 5,000 lives lost to the Covid 19 pandemic since it’s outbreak in the country in 2020.
The General Manager Stanley Ng’ang’a said as part of its contribution to the conservation of the environment, the bank plans to plant 35 million trees in coming years.
Ng’ang’a said the exercise will benefit the locals economically as the bank will be buying seedlings from youth and women groups who have tree nurseries.
He called on Kenyans who have been allowed to cultivate food crops under the Shamba system to ensure that they take care of the young trees to ensure a higher survival rate which will in turn help in increasing the forest cover.
Ng’ang’a also appealed to Kenyans to embrace use of renewable energy sources in a bid to reduce the harvesting of trees to cater for fuel needs.
Addressing the same gathering at the Singore Forest where the exercise was undertaken, the county Deputy Conservator Jeremiah Kibor warned those allowed to farm in the forests that they will be thrown out if they don’t take care of the trees planted.
He noted that the survival of trees in the county has been a challenge due to the culture of grazing in the forest.
Kibor said the Kenya Forest Service plans to plant 1,000 hectares during this planting season and appealed to the residents to play their role in increasing the county’s forest cover from the current 37.5 per cent to over 38 per cent.
“We are calling on residents to consider planting fruit trees alongside other trees which will help in not only conserving the environment but also in enriching nutrition and boosting income,” he said.
Kibor said Elgeyo Marakwet is second to Nyeri County in terms of forest cover in the country adding that they were working hard to overtake Nyeri.
By Walter Kibet and Alice Wanjiru