The Government has outlawed grazing of livestock on Mount Kipsigis sacred hill in Londiani ward of Kericho County.
The Environment Principal Secretary (PS), Betty Maina who last Friday led officials in planting over 10,000 tree seedlings on the hill ( Tulwop Kipsigis) said grazing of cows and other domestic animals in government forest has been halted to allow the tree seedlings to grow to maturity.
Ms. Maina said Kericho County had managed to attain 23 percent forest cover through aggressive tree planting, adding that the County with the help of Kenya Forest Service and multinational tea estates, private companies and individuals target to have a 60 percent forest cover in Kericho County.
The PS who was flanked by the head of conservancy, George Njenga, the Kericho County Commissioner (CC), Moses Mbaruku and the Londiani Ecosystem Conservator Mr Stephen Kahunyu said that 1.9 million tree seedlings were planted in Kericho by end of last year.
Ms Maina said that tree planting in parts of Nyanza, Western Kenya and in Rift Valley will be undertaken during the ongoing rains to raise the forest cover.
The PS said that planting of trees will be implemented at all government designated forest sites, schools and in institutions of higher learning.
She encouraged farmers and individuals who have land in the County to plant fruit trees while at the same time venturing into tree woodlot plantations for commercial purposes and cited bamboo tree farming as a profitable venture,
Speaking during the same function the Head of Conservancy, George Njenga said that they will move to Mau starting November 1 to start a serious tree planting exercise in all the degraded sites and those shambas that have been recovered from the illegal land settlers.
The Kericho County Commissioner, Moses Mbaruku directed deputy county commissioners, chiefs and their assistants to establish tree nurseries in their office compounds where they target to raise over 500,000 tree seedlings by April next year.
He said that the tree seedlings will be distributed to schools and public institutions to help in boosting the national tree cover in the country.
The Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary (CS), Keriako Tobiko has publicly stated that the Government intends to plant 10 million indigenous trees seedlings in the Maasai Mau Forest in the course of the next five years.
By Dominic Cheres