|The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa plants a tree at the venue|
|The KFS Board Chairman Prof. Richard Musangi addresses members of the public during the tree planting ceremony|
The people of Transzoia County joined Kenya Forest Service (KFS) in planting trees at Immaculate Heart Secondary School in Saboti with the running theme of forests for the people. The international year of forests is being observed globally this year and this was one of the many tree planting activities planned by KFS to commemorate the year. Over 18 000 seedlings were given to farmers to plant at their farms.
The occasion was graced by many and guests among them Minister for Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa, and Ms Nadin Faida from Laikipia Wildlife Conservancy who was the chief guest, KFS Board Chairman Prof. Richard Musangi, the Senior Deputy Director of Forests Mr. Emilio Mugo, the Regional Commisioner for North Rift Mr. Wanyama Musyambo Among others.
Ms. Faida congratulated the KFS for the good job on sensitization of forest conservation to the public. She said that Kenya’s forest were a major resource that affected virtually all socio-economic sectors in the country. “says yes to life by planting trees,” she said urging the youth to be environmental champions as they are the future of the country.
On his part, Minister affirmed that the ministry was going on with plans to join other partners to start a school tree planting programme across the country. He called for more participation by the private sector in order to improve forest governance. He urged all students in the school to plant five trees every year at the school and at home saying that would be their legacy.
KFS Board Chairman acknowledged that forest were a major resource for sustaining livelihoods. He urged all people to reserve at least 10% of their individual lands for forestry purposes saying this will add up to the required national forest cover.
Speaking at the same event, the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Koli Nanok maintained that illegal allocations of forest land in the past had been a major impediment enhancement of forestry in the country.
On his part, the Senior Deputy Director of Forests (SDDF) Mr. Emilio Mugo said that the Service had over 100 million seedlings across the country for planting during the year. He added that KFS was pulling all resources to deal with the back log of unplanted areas saying that this should be complete in two to three years.
The tree planting exercise was presided by a major road show which took two days starting from Nakuru to the Saboti trading centre. This was meant to sensitise the public on the importance of planting trees and conserving the existing forests.
Story by Mike Muratha and pictures by Leakey Sonkoyo