Locals Urged To Grow More Trees

Residents of Busia County have been urged to grow more trees with a view to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Speaking during a forum to mark the International Day of Forest at St Catherine Special School in Butula Sub County, Busia County Commissioner Mwachaunga Chaunga advised the residents and the heads of public institutions to ensure that every tree that is planted is recorded by the Kenya Forest Services Office.

‘We should give this kind of information to our County Forest Conservator because he is the one who is mandated to keep such records and transmit them to the government,’ he said.

Chaunga further stated that at times local residents carried out tree growing exercises but they could not be recognized due to lack of record keeping.

‘So I would urge the chiefs, assistant chiefs and administrators to report all the trees planted in their areas of jurisdiction so that the total number of trees grown in the County is known,’ he said.

He further urged the stakeholders to ensure that tree
seedlings that are planted are protected so that they grow to maturity.

‘This is our world, and it is our responsibility to ensure that it is habitable,’ he said, adding that climate change is an issue that should concern everybody.

The official at the same time advised the local residents to begin land preparation not only for food crops but also tree growing. ‘Let us set aside sections of our parcels of land for environmental protection,’ he said.

Chaunga further explained that the government does not intend to harm its citizens through the crackdown of illicit brews but to protect them.

‘People have perished after taking some of these illicit liquor, homes have been broken,’ he stated, adding that the government aimed at streamlining the liquor industry.

He further said that the government has no issue with the law abiding liquor traders adding that those who contravened the law would not be spared.

Busia Forest Conservator Vitalis Osodo urged the residents to consider additional uses of trees other
than use as firewood and timber.

Osodo emphasized the need for the locals to know the importance of forests, especially with regard to environmental conservation and climate change.

‘I want to urge residents of Busia to embrace tree growing so that we can mitigate against climate change,’ he said, adding that the County is ranked bottom three among the 47 counties in terms of forest cover.

He reiterated that that the country planned to plant and grown more than 15 billion trees in order to have 30% tree cover under the Directive of President William Ruto.

At least 54 tree seedlings were planted to mark the day with the remaining 1,946 to be planted during the long rainy season at the designated places within the institution.

‘Our target today was to plant 2,000 seedlings but due to the prevailing weather conditions, we will plant the remaining during the long rains,’ he said, adding that Busia County has been given a target of 50,000 seedlings to plant during the long rain season.

Butula Sub County Dire
ctor of Education John Kemei urged the Forest Conservator to support schools with tree seedlings so that they could plant at the onset of the long rainy season.

Source: Kenya News Agency