People living around the Maasai Mau forest have been challenged to start nurseries in their farms to earn a living from selling the seedlings.
Narok County Commissioner Mr Evans Achoki observed the environment around the forestland was favourable for the growth of almost all types of trees hence the need for the residents to put up tree nursery beds.
“Many organizations have adapted a block to plant trees in the forest. If the people living around the forest can take advantage of this and start nursery beds with an aim of selling the trees, then they will get a lot of money,” he advised.
Achoki reiterated that the county had a target of planting over 40 million trees before the end of the year, a target that they believe they will achieve as currently they have planted over 10 million trees.
Achoki spoke while on a tour in the forestland to inspect the ongoing fencing of 30-kilometer forestland where he said the government was committed to protect the mega water catchment land from any form of destruction.
The commissioner also challenged the residents to plant fruit trees that they can use to supplement their diet and sell to earn a livelihood. “Trees like avocado, tree tomato and oranges can do well in this land. We challenge residents not to relent in planting such trees that can earn them an income and boost their standards of livelihoods,” he said.
He lauded the residents for assisting Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to plant trees in the forestland from where people were evicted by the government two years ago.
“We have already started enjoying the fruits of conserving the forest. Since people were evicted from the forest land, we have seen prolonged rainy seasons and increased volume of water in the rivers,” added Achoki.
Planting trees, he said, was a responsibility of every Kenyan regardless of where one lives “as we target to surpass the ten per cent forest cover mark.”
By Ann Salaton