Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has embarked on an ambitious tree planting programme at various government forests within Murang’a County.
Officers at KFS office in Murang’a already have launched the exercise of tree planting during the current rainy season targeting to plant more than 500,000 seedlings.
Speaking to KNA in his office one of KFS officers, Mr. George Nduati said the seedlings are expected to cover more than 345 hectares of land in areas where vegetation have been depleted.
In the programme, Nduati added that, they are also targeting to plant more than 30,000 seedlings of indigenous trees at different school compounds.
The school tree planting exercise, he noted, will be done only to schools with big unutilized compounds.
“We have identified a total of 30 hectares of land from specific schools with whom we are partnering to plant trees in their compounds,” noted Nduati.
Nduati said some of the schools in which they have planted trees are Mugoiri Girls High school, Weithaga Boys High school, Ichagaki Polytechnic and Mumbi primary school.
He observed that the department is also doing forestry rehabilitation where they are planting 120,000 seedlings expected to cover 120 hectares.
“We have planted seedlings in government forests which include Kimakia, Kiambicho, Gatare and Wanjerere which are within Murang’a County.” He said.
Nduati stated that they have put rightful measures to prevent deforestation in the forests where they have deployed more officers to guard them saying they also have secured some forests with barbered wire and also involved local community in protecting of forests through a group called Community Forest Association (CFA).
The forester added that they are involving farmers in planting of trees where this season they are giving out 25,000 seedlings which is equivalent to 25 hectares depending on the demand.
Last season, KFS had targeted to plant a total of 211,250 seedlings in the county but only managed to plant a total of 80,890 seedlings.
“We were not able to achieve the target due to lack of adequate rainfall during the last rainy season.” Nduati noted.
He said the programme is sponsored under Upper Tana Natural Resource Management Project (UTaNRMP) which is funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The objective of the programme is to ensure environment stability and smart climate development.
By Bernard Munyao and Ann Maina