he government intends to plant two billion trees in the Country by 2020 to achieve at least 10 per cent forest cover in the country as set out in the Constitution.
Speaking during a tree planting campaign held at Ilturok Orook Primary School at Nairegia Enkare in Narok East yesterday, State Department of Planning Principal Secretary(PS) Mr. Saitoti Torome said that the government intends to achieve the 10 per cent tree cover by involving children and youth in schools and colleges and entire communities.
He said this will go a long way in mitigating the effects of climate change which have been ravaging the country.
“We came here as part of the national exercise in planting trees as we take advantage of the current heavy rains pounding the country to plant trees,” Torome said.
The PS urged area residents to continue with the exercise in order to avoid calamities such as landslides that have been occurring of late in areas such as West Pokot.
He also advised residents who live near dams and other areas prone to mudslides to move away so as to avoid disasters such as one that was experienced in Nairagie Enkare in Narok East two years ago where two people perished when a nearby dam collapsed.
“People should cooperate with the government and move from danger zones during this rainy season,” he added.
The PS said the government through the ministry of health has also dispatched health officers to educate the public on how to treat water to avoid water borne diseases that occur during this season.
Also present during the campaign was area Assistant County Commissioner Mr. Okumu Oloo who urged area residents to embrace the government directive to plant trees for posterity.
“ We urge everybody and all stakeholders to come on board and plant trees,” he said.
Oloo also advised the youth to own this tree planting campaign and challenged them to even consider coming together to start their own tree nurseries that would become a reliable source of income.
The administrator thanked the various organisations and institutions that donated and participated during the tree planting exercise.
Over 11,000 trees were planted during the exercise in various schools in the area and churches and health facilities. The seedlings that were donated by various organisations will be planted in the area.
By Mabel Keya – Shikuku and Salim Maleto