Buuri residents in Meru County, have been challenged to embrace tree planting exercises targeting to restore forest cover in Mount Kenya forest.
The State Department for Industrialization Principal Secretary (PS), Amb. Peter Kaberia, who led the tree planting exercise in Mt Kenya forest said, the government had partnered with local communities to plant trees in all water catchment areas and at the same time achieve the 12 percent forest cover in the country.
“Mt Kenya is the largest water tower and most significant point for Kenyans. We can’t continue talking about the environment without restoring Mt. Kenya,” said Amb. Kaberia, further revealing that since 2016, the government had planted over two million trees in the forest.
The exercise that was graced by department of industrialization officials saw about 300 trees planted in the area.
“An expansive area had been destroyed by forest fire and we are trying to restore it. Our aim is to grow trees in all parts,” said the PS.
He said they had engaged residents through plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement scheme program, an initiative that allows Community Forest Associations (CFA) to cultivate agricultural crops during the initial stages of tree growing and forest establishment.
Amb. Kaberia said the cultivation is meant to improve the livelihood of the farmers and at the same time boost the survival rate of the planted trees.
Kinoti Gatobu, former area MP, too urged residents to plant trees in their private lands targeting to end drought attributed due lack of enough forest cover.
“One of the key pillars of the government agenda is food security and to achieve that, there must be enough rain. We have to appreciate tree planting initiatives to help us achieve forest cover as enshrined in vision 2030,” said Gatobu.