Kenya Forest Service Has Pledged To Enhance Tree Cover In Arid Regions

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Kilifi office, in collaboration with the County Government of Kilifi, has committed to spearheading initiatives focused on tree planting, especially in arid areas.

The initiatives seek to elevate the county’s tree cover from the current 27.7% to 35% to significantly contribute to the national goal of planting 15 billion trees by 2032.

Speaking during the celebration of International Forest Day at Kikambala area in Kilifi, Kilifi Forest Conservator Elvis Fondo emphasized the importance of commitment by citizens, urging every Kenyan to plant at least 30 trees annually to achieve the ambitious national target.

As part of the commemoration, KFS distributed 3,000 tree seedlings to residents of Kikambala and encouraged them to capitalize on the ongoing long rainy season to maximize tree planting efforts.

Fondo outlined various strategies employed by KFS to augment tree cover, including collaboration with stakeholders such as schools, health centers, and correctional facilities. He und
erscored the integration of modern technology, including satellite monitoring, to combat illegal logging and forest fires effectively.

KFS Kilifi Forest Conservator Elvis Fondo addressing the public during the celebration of International Forest Day at Kikambala area in Kilifi.

‘Satellite technology has significantly reduced forest fire incidents by providing timely alerts on temperature changes in forested areas, enabling prompt mitigation measures,’ he explained.

Focusing on areas with inadequate tree cover, Kilifi County Director for Climate Change, Kanundu Ngumbao disclosed the county’s target of planting 1.4 million trees.

Ngumbao outlined diverse planting sites, including schools, private farms, religious institutions, and dispensaries, with notable efforts to establish robust tree nurseries across the county.

He highlighted the county’s proactive approach saying the existence of a major tree nursery in Tezo ward with a capacity of over 1 million seedlings, already supporting more than 500,000 tree

Ngumbao further disclosed that the tree seedlings will be provided to the public free of charge and encouraged individuals and groups to access the seedlings from the county offices, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the seedlings to maturity.

On the same note, Kilifi South Deputy County Commissioner Monica Hamisi underscored the administration’s commitment to planting 5,000 trees across 30 schools in the sub-county. Hamisi lauded the active involvement of teachers and students in maintaining tree nurseries within schools, ensuring the successful implementation of the tree planting initiative.

‘Through these nurseries, we aim to instill a culture of environmental stewardship among students by encouraging them to adopt and nurture trees to maturity,’ stated Hamisi.

The collaborative efforts between the Kenya Forest Service, the County Government of Kilifi, and local communities signify a concerted commitment to enhancing tree cover and fostering environmental sustainability in arid regions

Source: Kenya News Agency