Kericho County intends to plant over 1.5 million tree seedlings in its degraded forests sites to increase its forest cover which is currently at 22 per cent.
Speaking during World Environment Day at Kaplelartet Primary School in Soin-Sigowet Saturday, the County Water, Environment, Forestry and Natural Resources Chief Officer Richard Mitei said the County is committed to restoring its ecosystems and water catchment areas.
Mitei further assured that three bills had been passed to help in curbing the destruction of forests at the same time protecting and restoring the dwindling ecosystems.
Members of the public were urged to continue planting trees to attract more rains during the occasion.
“Let’s collectively continue with this noble course of planting trees and protecting our forests so that we may have rains and as a result we will have enough water,” said Mitei.
On his part, the Kericho County Director of National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) Valentine Lala reiterated that the national and county governments are committed to restoring degraded forests and ecosystems.
“Our ecosystems are the main source of food and sanctuary to animals and birds and by destroying them we are encouraging human-animal conflict which is not good,” Lala noted.
The director called on area residents to continue conserving the environment by cleaning up riverbanks, thus giving nature space to recover, saying this will encourage revival of destroyed ecosystems and that will be beneficial to society and biodiversity.
On the other hand, head of Wildlife Clubs of Kenya Western Region Emmanuel Situma emphasized on the need to involve the younger generation in conservation programmes to protect the ecosystem.
“We work with both primary and secondary schools by establishing wildlife and environmental clubs to help in empowering students and creating awareness about environment and the need to conserve it by planting trees and cleaning up activities in market places and hospitals,” Situma said.
By Byegon Alfric and Mercyline Chepkemoi