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Uasin Gishu targets to plant 21 million tree seedlings

Uasin Gishu County earmarks to plant 21 million tree seedlings this year as part of increasing the county’s tree cover.

Uasin Gishu County Forest Conservator Mr. Joseph Kingori said more than nine million tree seedlings, eight million in private tree nurseries and one million in Kenya Forest Service (KFS), were available for planting during the rainy season.

Speaking during a public consultative baraza at Songoliet sub-location in Kapseret Constituency that was chaired by Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Dr. Eddyson Nyale, Kingori said the tree seedlings would be available for Sh 10 each for those interested in buying.

“To combat climate change that has affected weather patterns, including prolonged droughts, every resident has a responsibility to take part in environmental conservation by supporting tree planting,” he added.

“In line with the government’s plan to plant five billion trees in five years’ time, the country has to at least plant 106 million tree seedlings annually to achieve the target announced by President William Ruto on October 20th 2022,” said the CFC.

The President during last year’s Mashujaa day celebrations announced that Kenya intends to plant five billion trees in the next five years through Special Presidential Forestry and Rangeland Restoration Programme. The President said this would eventually lead to 15 billion trees by the year 2032.

The objective is the rehabilitation and restoration of 10.6 million hectares in the 290 constituencies, as well as selected ecosystems and water towers threatened by degradation and destruction due to human activity.

In his remarks, the CC asked chiefs and their assistants in each sub-county to ensure they start tree nurseries where members of the public can get tree seedlings when they require.

“It is also important that every farmer or land owners in Uasin Gishu set aside a section of their land to plant trees to increase tree cover in the county that was identified as one of the county’s with very low tree cover,” said the CC.

“It is the responsibility of every Kenyan to protect and conserve the environment for posterity, said Nyale.

During the baraza, residents raised concerns over rampant illicit brewing and alcohol consumption, especially among the youth whom they claimed had been made dysfunctional by illicit alcohol.

“We have lost young lives due to alcohol, the youth are no longer productive, the millions the government is putting in ECDE infrastructure will be useless since our youth can no longer sire children because excessive alcoholism is turning most into a vegetative state,” they lamented.

The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) North Rift Regional Coordinator Ms. Eunice Arubia said to curb the brewing and sale of cheap illicit alcohol, residents and the National Government Administrative officers as well as the Police need to identify chronic brewers who can be assisted to start other legal businesses through social services.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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