Leaders in Kisii County have urged residents to plant environmental friendly trees, in a bid to preserve the ecosystem.
Speaking at Nyamone Primary School in Tabaka, Kisii County during the national tree planting day, the leaders decried growth of the eucalyptus trees in the wetlands, saying it was degrading the environment.
Addressing the press after a tree planting exercise in the area, the County Commissioner (CC), Godfrey Kigochi called upon the public to plant more but friendly trees that preserve the water catchment areas.
Kigochi noted that the tree cover in the county was wanting, and appealed to residents to up their effort in afforesting the area.
The County Ecosystem conservator, Donald Avude applauded the residents for the good response in forestation but cautioned them against planting the eucalyptus in the wrong places.
He said that the Ministry of Forestry and Conservation had preserved 10,000 seedlings of various species to be planted during this rainy season.
Avude cited tea companies, individual farmers and Kenya Railways Company, as some of the stakeholders that have given ample support that will help raise the current forest cover from 10% to a higher figure.
The Kisii University, Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Akama faulted Kenyans for cutting trees, aged over 300 years for burning charcoal worth just sh. 300 per sack, terming it environmental disaster.
Prof. Akama said eucalyptus tree, which is common in the region was a water guzzler of up to 400 gallons, and unless action is taken all wetlands in Kisii will be dry in three years.
He applauded scouts in Kisii University for planting over 2m trees, including gravelia, avocado, Bamboo, Cyprus among others, saying they were also planting eucalyptus, but in the upper lands where it will not destroy the environment.
The Prof. Akama noted the university had plans of planting 5m bamboo tees in support of the conservator, which he said was more economical, as it matures in three years, can build furniture, houses and can stay for many years without being destroyed by moth.
By Jane Naitore