The Religious organisations in Vihiga County have been urged to help the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) increase land under tree cover during this planting season.
KFS Officer in charge of Kisumu County Joseph Maina made the appeal on Thursday when he handed over 4,000 tree seedlings to Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) national headquarters at Nyang’ori in Vihiga County.
The event was organised by KFS in conjunction with Equity Bank.
“We are appealing to religious leaders in Vihiga County to encourage faithful to plant trees both on church and home compounds in order to enable the government realise the 10 per cent target,” urged Maina.
The Forestry Officer encouraged members of public to visit the nearest KFS nurseries where they can easily access tree seedlings of different varieties.
“We have about two million tree seedlings at our KFS nursery in Kisumu,” disclosed Maina as he encouraged the locals from the lake region to visit the same.
The officer enumerated several benefits related to forests, including improving soil and water conservation, carbon storage as well as moderating local climate by providing shade and regulating temperature extremes.
He in addition said trees increase wildlife habitat and improve the land’s capacity to adapt to climate change. “These are some of the benefits forests and shrubs offer the environment and human beings,” observed Maina.
His sentiments were echoed by Equity Bank Kisumu Branch Manager Mrs Alice Atieno.
Atieno said Equity Bank had partnered with KFS in tree seedlings distribution drive to organised groups and institutions as part of the lender’s corporate social responsibility.
“Equity bank is determined to help the government achieve the ten per cent target of the country’s land under tree cover that is also a global requirement,” remarked Atieno.
Speaking on behalf of the church, PAG Arch Bishop Patrick Lihanda thanked KFS and Equity Bank for the good gesture.
Lihanda promised to ensure the over 5,000 churches affiliated to PAG countrywide have planted trees on their compounds during this season of rains. “We are also urging our faithful to pick seedlings at the nearest KFS nurseries and plant on their home compounds.
By Maurice Aluda