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Maragoli hill forest on path to restoration

State department of Energy Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa has called for enhanced reforestation to mitigate the climate change effects.

Dr Kihalangwa said tree planting is the main way of environmental conservation which in turn leads to protection of life on the earth.

The PS, who spoke while on a tour to assess the restoration efforts of South Maragoli hills forest in Vihiga Sub County, urged the residents to take advantage of the prevailing short rains to plant trees.

He was in the same area in June where he led other stakeholders including the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the Community Forest Association (CFA) and the locals in planting thousands of seedlings on a portion of 150 hectares of land that has been earmarked for rehabilitation.

He discouraged the people from planting eucalyptus species particularly along the rivers as they have high water uptake that could cause the streams to dry up.

Governor Dr Wilber Ottichilo said his administration will continue collaborating with other stakeholders for the restoration of the degraded forest.

He added that the department of natural resources has planted over 70,000 seedlings in the area in the past three years and they also encourage the people to practice agroforestry.

The Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Julius Kamau, said the restoration initiatives have been successful in Tana and Sondu Miriu rivers catchment areas which now have high potential for generating hydroelectricity.

In a speech read by his deputy Charity Munyasia, he said they are carrying out rehabilitation in 22 sites across the country and so far, 1, 744 hectares have been restored.

By Sammy Mwibanda

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