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Magistrate calls on leaders to plant and grow more trees

Oyugis Court Magistrate Samson Ongeri has called on Homa Bay county leaders to help plant more tree to increase tree cover and improve the environment.

The magistrate said “there are many hills without trees all over Homa Bay County and to change this we can make an effort starting with our leaders”.

“As leaders, politicians or executives or the Judiciary or Parliament, we have to take the lead so that any time we have any function, let’s plant trees,” he said.

He urged the people to take the clarion call to the leaders so that the county is able to plant more trees and transform the barren hills into rain catchment areas to make the area more productive.

The magistrate lamented that some of the climate conditions we have today is just because we decided not to plant trees and taking care of them as well leaving some of our forest that were there in the past have depleted.

“These days you cannot be sure which is the right planting season. We used to have a planting season but this time round you cannot predict when it’s going to rain so that you start to plant, this is because we have dealt a blow to our environment,” he said.

Ongeri was speaking at Oyugis primary school during a probation case committee tree planting event that involved offenders offering service to the community.

Referring to the event’s theme ‘offenders can change’ he asked everyone to plant trees as this could change the environment to better.

Ongeri who as the chief guest in the event led government officials, teachers, pupil and offenders to plant about 700 seedlings in the school as he also encouraged people to go back to their indigenous trees and plant more of them too saying they are very good in conserving the environment

Kasipul Sub County Environment Officer Tobias Mboya said Homa Bay County as a whole has a tree cover of 2% against target of 10%.

He said the planting and growing of trees is a collaborative approach. “We cannot do it alone,” he said

The officer said they promote collaboration so that each stakeholder could participate saying that is how they can achieve more than 2% tree cover.

He thanked Plant Trees for Better Environment CBO led by its patron Nuhu Omollo Masoud for supporting the community service event organized by the Probation Department Oyugis law court.

In order to plant more trees, he said as a component of tree growing, they were doing what he called awareness and education to the young people to see the importance of tree planting and growing.

“We should grow trees because planting is not enough, taking care of these trees means that every person is responsible,” he said.

Masoud also present said tree growing is failing because there is nobody to take care of the trees after they have been planted.

“Mine is to show case the tree planting and our theme is not only tree planting, its tree planting, tree growing and tree nurturing,” he said and encouraged each learner in the school to take care of the trees that were planted to grow to maturity.

The event was also attended by Samwel Ogalo Otieno Sub County Director Probation Department, Brian Saidi, Sub County Children Officer and Lillian Anyange Regional Director Probation who said community service order is both a programme and a sentence and it is anchored in law Cap 93.

He asked the public to accept the offenders and know that they are our brothers and sisters or our mothers and fathers.

“Appreciate their work, they do a lot of work for example afforestation services. They can be involved in road maintenance such like things,” she said.

The Director called on the public to look at the offenders as anybody else only that they did something wrong and found themselves in the court.

By Moseti Julius

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