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Water companies in a mission to plant 10 million trees

Companies allied to the Water Services Providers Association (WASPA) have kicked off the exercise of planting over 10 million tree seedlings within a period of six months.

WASPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Antony Ambugo said each of the more than 100 Water Companies allied to the association has a target of planting 10, 000 trees beginning this month.

On Wednesday during celebrations to mark World’s Water Day in Murang’a, Ambugo observed that WASPA so far has sponsored planting of more than one million trees in various parts of the country.

The CEO added that the association is sponsoring the exercise by providing seedlings to the companies targeting conservation of water catchment areas.

Degradation of forests and water towers, Ambugo averred it has caused scarcity of water forcing water firms to enforce rationing of the commodity to their customers.

“Increase in tree and forest cover will help to mitigate climate change. Gas emitted by greenhouses can be neutralized by trees and that is why as WASPA we have embarked to champion planting of trees targeting water catchment areas. It’s unfortunate, sources of water for our firms were greatly affected by the prolonged drought, especially dams,” he stated.

Currently forest cover in the country stands at eight per cent with about 12 per cent tree cover. The CEO underscored the need of conserving the environment saying degradation of forest cover affects sources of water.

Ambugo said, “Planting of trees will not only be left to water firms but we are also bringing on board other stakeholders to assist in the exercise.”

Kenya, he noted, is known as a water scarce country saying the challenge can be well mitigated by conserving water source areas especially through planting of trees.

Meanwhile, Ambugo asked water companies which have been having issues with boundaries of their jurisdiction to bury their differences and embark in providing residents with clean water.

“Water knows no boundaries and companies should strive to provide water to people instead of engaging in unnecessary boundary issues,” he added.

Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company (MUWASCO) Managing Director Eng Daniel Ng’ang’a on his part supported the move to plant trees at water catchment areas. He revealed his firm has prioritized growing of trees to ensure the firm has continuous supply of water from various sources.

Ng’ang’a called for an end to vandalism of water infrastructure saying the crime has caused many water firms to incur huge losses and further denied residents steady water supply.

“As we strive to connect more homesteads with water, vandalism of water pipes among other equipment has frustrated our efforts and we appeal to members of the public to help us fight this crime,” he added.

By Bernard Munyao

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