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KFS partners with Murang’a youth group to increase forest cover

Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Murang’a office has partnered with a local youth group to plant trees in areas that were once forested but depleted by human activities.

When the country marked the World Environment Day, Saturday, KWS officers together with members of a youth group from Kigumo Sub- County embarked on planting 2, 000 seedlings at Kahumbu forests.

KFS Officer-In-Charge of Kigumo Sub- County, Mr Alfred Kariuki, said they will target areas which have been affected by deforestation.

“We will embark on planting indigenous trees in affected forests and also the young people will help us in nurturing the seedlings,” he said.

Kariuki further discouraged local residents from cutting down indigenous trees, while underscoring the need to conserve the environment, especially preservation of water towers.

“Indigenous trees take a long time to mature so if you fell one today and plant another one, you end up destroying a heritage meant for generations to come,” he advised.

Kahumbu Forest which is in Kigumo Sub- County has been affected by rapid deforestation as local residents use the forest as a source of firewood.

Kariuki advocated for an alternative source of fuel saying dependence of wood as source of fuel in many households leads to destruction of vegetation.

The Officer further said farmers can plant trees on their farms for commercial purposes, saying the construction industry is in need of wood.

“People can plant trees for commercial purposes. Some individuals depend on trees as a source of livelihood. Residents should also follow laid down procedures to cut down trees,” added Kariuki.

Kahumbu Youth Forum Coordinator, Mr Daniel Muiruri, speaking during the occasion encouraged young people to involve themselves in community works as this prevent them against engaging in anti-social behaviours.

“Instead of getting into drugs and alcohol abuse it is paramount for young people to join a group and get involved in helping the community like in tree planting,” Observed Muiruri, noting that conserving the environment ought to be every young person’s responsibility.

Over 100 young people who are members of Kahumbu Youth Forum group participated in the tree planting exercise.

The Forest cover in the County currently stands at 14.2 per cent and the KFS partnership with the County Government targets to attain more than 17 per cent forest cover by end of this year.

By Florence Kinyua

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