The state has collaborated with various stakeholders to plant 10 million trees in Narok County in the last three months in a bid to increase forest cover in the county, Narok county Commissioner Evans Achoki has said.
Achoki who spoke during a tree planting day held at Siera Leone, part of the Maasai Mau forest said they are targeting to plant 43 million tree seedlings this year which can only be achieved if many stakeholders come together.
He said in the Mau forest, they have already planted 2.5 million seedlings in the parts where about 3200 families were evicted by the government two years ago.
Among other places that the government is targeting to plant trees are institutions like schools, churches, government offices, towns and all public institutions. “We are collaborating with various stakeholders to achieve this because it cannot be done by a single body. I ask individual farmers to plant trees in their farms to increase the tree coverage,” he said.
Achoki reiterated the government’s efforts to restore the Maasai Mau forest as it is a mega water catchment area that feeds not only Kenya but various countries in Africa. “I want to assure the residents that we will guard our forests with a lot of passion. If anyone thinks that he or she can intrude in the forest land, they are wrong because the government is protecting forests passionately,” he said.
Narok county ecosystem conservator Msafiri Opiyo speaking at the same occasion observed that the trees planted were indigenous ones like podo, pine and cider that will take over 50 years to mature.“This is why we should be very careful when cutting a tree because indigenous trees take many decades to mature. We should protect our forest with a lot of passion,” added Opiyo.
Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority (ENSDA) Managing Director Mr. Ngala Olotiptip said the organization has already established 1200 acreage of tree seedlings in the mega forest.
He reiterated that they are keen on conserving the environment for posterity, asking many other stakeholders to join in to help in increasing the forest cover.
Johana Kipkemoi from Eden Forestation Projects added that his organization has already established a one million seedlings seedbed at the Siera leone and Nkoben part of the forest.
Already, he said they have planted 20, 000 seedlings in Siera Leone and 3500 seedlings in Nkoben parts.
The tree planting event was attended by the Maasai Mara University students, youth under the Kazi Mtaani programme and primary school children who together helped in planting 5500 trees in the forest land.
By Ann Salaton