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Siaya’s forest cover amongst the lowest in the country

Siaya is among the counties with the lowest forest cover in the country, and local residents have been challenged to embrace tree planting to improve the coverage.

According to the chairman of the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) Board Charles Owino, the county’s 0.23% forest cover is only better than Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit counties, yet the county receives adequate rainfall.

Owino, who represented the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Moses Kuria during the tree planting exercise at the Siaya Institute of Technology today, said the local residents have an opportunity to reverse the poor forest cover by ensuring that they plant trees in the numerous hills that dot the area.

“The government has a serious ambition of planting 15 billion trees by 2032, and in Siaya, we are supposed to plant 15 million trees within the same period,” said Owino, a former National Police Service Spokesman.

Speaking during the occasion, Siaya County Commissioner Julius Otieno said the county was targeting to plant 36,000 trees today and appreciated the support from the county government that was coordinating the exercise in all the wards.

Siaya Governor James Orengo, in a speech read by the County Executive Committee Member for Environment and Climate Change Prof. Jacqueline Oduol, said his government has initiated deliberate efforts to increase the forest cover.

Orengo blamed the low forest cover in the county to dependence by the locals on firewood and charcoal as sources of fuel.

“As a county, we already have embarked on numerous tree planting initiatives and the results are inspiring,” said the governor.

 By Philip Onyango

 

 

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