The Kenya Forest Service has led other stakeholders in planting 8,800 seedlings in Turkana County, heading closer to the national government target of 10,000 per county.
The national government through the National youth council (NYC) aims to achieve a 10% forest cover by 2022.
Speaking at St. Augustine Boys Primary School in Lodwar, the County Ecosystem Conservator Wilson Kiplagat said he distributed 1, 000 seedlings to the pupils to top up to the 7,800 seedlings distributed in the last two weeks.
“We have planted 7,800 seedlings in the past two weeks and today we have planted 1,000 others here at St. Augustine Boys bringing the total number so far to 8,800,” said Kiplagat.
The Ecosystem Conservator appreciated the support of other stakeholders including National Youth Council and Kazi Mtaani in raising seedlings for the Annual Tree Planting project, adding that they are planning to complete planting the remaining number in the due course.
“We are doing our part in conjunction with other stakeholders. We have decided to complete planting the remaining number on the World Environmental day which will be held on June 6, 2021 at Queen of Peace Primary School in Lodwar Town,” he added.
Present at the event was Kerio Assistant County Commissioner Karisa Katsoma who said they settled on St. Augustine Boys Primary School because they had already shown the initiative of conserving the environment by planting and conserving trees in the school, thus attracting the attention of the stakeholders.
Katsoma highlighted the benefit of conserving trees as he urged everyone to embrace the initiative in ensuring a beautiful and serene environment.
“Trees help modify climate and makes the atmosphere pleasant, thus contributing to a calm learning environment for the children. Additionally, they attract rainfall and ensure clean air for our lives,” said Katsoma.
He articulated the government’s efforts in conserving the environment through Kazi Mtaani and in collaboration with other stakeholders.
“The 10,000 trees target is government’s project, I also urge the residents of Turkana County to support this noble initiative by visiting the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) for seedlings to go to and plant in their fertile soils back at home,” he added.
By Ekuwam Sylvester and Peter Gitonga