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Plant trees regularly to conserve environment-PS Kisiang’ani

The State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary, Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani, has urged residents of Kisii County to continuously plant trees to boost environmental conservation.

Speaking during the National Tree Growing Day at Kebute Primary School in Bonchari Constituency, Kisii County, Prof. Kisiang’ani noted that tackling climate change and the environment are key pillars in the Kenya Kwanza administration and urged the leaders to be at the forefront in conserving the environment.

The State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary, Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani addressing residents of Kisii during the National Tree Growing Day at Kebute primary school in Bonchari Constituency, Kisii County on Monday November 13,2023. Photo by Mercy Osongo

“If we do not do anything about our climate, we shall perish, and our children will have nowhere to live,” he said.

The PS also called for concerted efforts among environmental stakeholders to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

Prof. Kisiang’ani stressed the need for Kisii residents to refrain from planting eucalyptus trees in water catchment areas, adding that they consume a lot of water and would lead to a lack of water distribution in the area and, subsequently, human conflict.

The PS highlighted President William Ruto’s efforts in enhancing Africa’s united voice in combating climate change and urged national and local leaders to unite and work together to amplify the same for the benefit of the residents.

Speaking at the same event, Kisii Governor Simba Arati noted that Kisii is among the few counties with a forest cover of 15 per cent and a tree cover of 26.6 per cent.

Arati said his administration is committed to environmental conservation, forest conservation, and the overall fight against climate change.

The governor pointed out that the county has embarked on improving nutrition and forest cover in schools by planting 10,000 fruit trees in 54 schools at the beginning of the short rains season.

He added that they will soon embark on the exercise of mapping and ring-fencing forests and wetlands, including Nyangweta, Ritumbe, Ndonyo, Ngeri, and Bassi Masige forests, Nsaria forest block, and Nyanturago wetland, with the help of community forest associations.

In addition, Arati said they will establish two tree and bamboo nurseries in Bonchari and Nyaribari Chache constituencies to nurture more than 500,000 tree seedlings and help to sustain the county’s re-afforestation efforts.

“The nurseries will provide tree seedlings that will be used to replenish our forests and create woodlots and green parks in public spaces,” he concluded.

The national government, through a gazette notice, declared November 13 as the National Tree-Growing Day, where the public is expected to engage in tree-growing countrywide.

In Kisii County, various stakeholders, including the national government officials, Kisii County Government, Kenya Forest Service, USAID, Rotary Club Kisii, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), banking institutions, the business community, non-governmental organizations, and learning institutions, marked the day by planting over 100,000 tree seedlings within the county.

The exercise is part of Kenya’s Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Programme, aimed towards growing 15 billion trees by 2032.

 By Mercy Osongo

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