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Machogu leads tree growing drive in Trans Nzoia

Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu led Trans Nzoia residents in a national tree planting drive at Kimothon Forest in Saboti Sub County on Monday.

CS Machogu was accompanied by Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya, County Commissioner (CC) Gideon Oyagi, and a host of government officials.

While addressing members of the public present, the CS emphasised the significance of Monday’s event, saying “today’s initiative is part of Kenya’s landscape and ecosystem restoration programme towards growing 15 billion trees, which is being spearheaded by President William Ruto,” stated Machogu.

The Education CS, who planted a total of 50 tree seedlings, highlighted the benefits of trees to human beings as well as the entire ecosystem.

Besides their significance as a water catchment, regulating the water cycle, and providing habitat for wildlife, Machogu reminded the locals of the roles played by trees in job creation, soil quality improvement, and the prevention of soil erosion.

He further underscored the importance of trees as a source of food, free, clean oxygen, medicine, the prevention of noise and light pollution, and above all, climate change agents.

“Thus, the reason I urge Trans Nzoia residents to ensure they plant at least 11.9 million trees annually is to help the government achieve the target of 15 billion trees by 2032.

According to the CS, the government was targeting to increase the acreage of land under forest cover from 12 per cent to 30 per cent.

“I am pleased to hear that Trans Nzoia stands at about 15 per cent of land under forest cover. However, much more needs to be done,” remarked Machogu, who promised to monitor the tree planting initiative in the county regularly.

A total of 34,000 tree seedlings of varied species were planted at the Kimothon Forest during the colourful event.

 

Out of the planted seedlings, 10,000 were indigenous tree species.

Addressing the participants, CC Oyagi disclosed that a total of 108,000 tree seedlings were planted across the county on Monday.

The CC thanked the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Seed Company, and Kitale National Polytechnic, among other stakeholders, for the tree seedlings that were planted.

“I sincerely express my gratitude to all the stakeholders who generously responded to my appeal for tree seedlings, hence making today’s event successful,” said Oyagi.

He urged members of the public to embrace the national tree planting exercise to ensure the planted trees survived to maturity.

“We expect families living around gazetted forests to be in full charge of trees by offering the necessary care and protection,” Oyagi appealed.

On his part, Governor Natembeya pledged to provide 11 million seedlings to be distributed to each department for planting every year.

By Maurice Aluda

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