Machogu Rallies Public To Join 15 Billion Trees Bandwagon

Education Cabinet Secretary (C S) Ezekiel Machogu has challenged the public to take a front seat in the campaign to paint the country green.

Speaking in Trans Nzoia County where he took the government’s ’15 billion trees agenda’ during the national tree planting day on Friday, Mr Machogu urged residents to make tree planting an everyday activity in an effort to help mitigate adverse effects of climate change brought about by human activities such as deforestation and poor farming activities.

As he spread the tree planting message, Machogu bemoaned the rate at which most forests have been taken down through deforestation, a case example being Kitale Forest where several acres had been left minus trees.

‘Today is a special day for Kenyans, designed not for us to rest but to collectively reflect on where we are as a country on matters environment, it is a day for action,’ he said as he cautioned against cultivation along the river banks and invasion of riparian land which he said has resulted to many of the s
erious climatic effects the nation is facing.

Reminding of the noble role the public has to play in the 15 billion tree campaign, Machogu said a multi-agency cooperation is also a key element to the achievement of the initiative.

However, he informed that planting of trees is not enough but the main task rests in nurturing the planted trees to maturity a role which cannot be left to the government alone saying, it should be a duty of all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the CS advised the public to plant indigenous trees along river streams as a way of maintaining water supply instead of eucalyptus which he explained is a heavy water consumer.

‘Healthy forests are a critical component to maintaining a healthy water supply that’s why planting more trees across watersheds world-wide is important for future generations,’ he said.

Hailing the working relationship between the national government and Trans Nzoia county government, Machogu said it will help drive development agenda of the region to another level.

d working relationship between the two levels of government are an essential component for development.

County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi directed all uniformed officers including local administrators to join hands with the county government to achieve the county annual target of tree planting.

The County has an annual target of 11.9 million trees and according to the county forester Elli Tinda, a total of three million trees had been planted since the President officially launched the exercise last year.

‘As a County we still have a long way to achieve our target. To do that, efforts of all stakeholders is required,’ said Oyagi.

Others present during the function were Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya and Kwanza Member of Parliament Ferdinand Wanyonyi.

Natembeya called for legislation to allow for shared responsibility between the national government and devolved units, a move he said will ensure the forests are protected for posterity.

Source: Kenya News Agency