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KRA, KFS plant over 5000 trees to appreciate tax payers

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in partnership with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has planted over 5,000 trees in Western Region to mark this year’s taxpayers’ month.

Western Region Customs Manager, Aden Ibrahim, who presided over a tree planting exercise at Malaba primary school and Malaba One Stop BorderPost (OSBP) said the initiative is in tandem with the government’s mission of increasing the country’s forest cover to 10 percent by 2022.

During the exercise, 500 trees were planted in Malaba Primary School and 300 at Malaba OSBP.

According to Aden, his team planted 3,200 trees in Kakamega forest and they will be planting another 1,300 trees at the Lwakhakha border point.

“This is part of KRA’s Corporate Social Responsibility. This year we decided to give back to the society by safeguarding the environment.

Our core mandate is revenue collection. However, we also have to ensure that part of our mandate is to secure the society. We are doing this by planting trees in order to take care of the environment and avoid issues of drought and other calamities associated with deforestation.

We had targeted to plant 3,000 trees in western region but we have so far planted more than 5,000 trees. We intend to ensure the country achieves the 10 percent forest cover as we play our role as a responsible corporate institution,” Aden explained.

He noted that all trees planted by KRA will be monitored henceforth to
their maturity.

“The running call here is not only to plant trees but also to make sure that the trees grow. It is also our responsibility to ensure that the trees we plant achieve the desired goal.

Selected officials from KRA will be tasked to monitor the growth of the trees while those that will wither will be replaced,” he said.

Busia County Ecosystem Conservator, Vitalis Osodo, called for concerted
effort from all stakeholders to enable the county increase its forest
cover that currently stands at 3.5 percent.

“At the moment KFS targets to plant 20,000 trees within Malaba region and its environs. The programme will continue until we achieve the 20,000 trees mark and that applies to various institutions and public land.

“We want to ensure that by the year 2022, we shall have achieved the
10 percent tree cover as directed by the government,” he stated.

Osodo encouraged the local communities within Busia to plant more trees noting that KFS will soon crisscross the county to educate the public on the importance of increasing the forest cover to combat the country’s changing climatic conditions.

He said besides massive sensitisation KFS is ready to offer technical knowledge and support in seedling production.

Malaba Primary School Head Teacher Boaz Walela, lauded KRA for picking his school as a beneficiary of the initiative saying the school which has over 1800 pupils still requires more trees.

Currently, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kenya’s forest cover stands at 7.2 percent which percentage is short of the 10 percent cover that is to be achieved by 2022.

To achieve the target KFS has laid down strategies which include planting of 1.8 billion tree seedlings by 2022 besides rehabilitating the country’s over 4 million acres of heavily degraded forest land.

By Melechezedeck Ejakait


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