Kitui To Plant 500,000 Trees To Mark 7th Devolution Conference
Kitui county plans to plant 500,000 trees to commemorate the seventh Devolution Conference slated for May 3-7, in Makueni, area Ecosystem Conservator Joyce Nthuku has said.
In 2020, the county planted more than 250,000 assorted indigenous tree seedlings with a survival rate of 80 per cent despite a biting drought, Nthuku said.
“We rehabilitated 31 hectares at Chawea Block, 10ha in Makongo Hill, 10ha in Mumoni and 5ha in Nuu. Apart from these gazetted forest stations, we undertook farm forestry in various institutions that accounted for a further 150ha forested area. A total of 206,000 tree seedlings were planted,” she said.
Speaking on Tuesday in Kitui, Nthuku decried wanton destruction of trees for charcoal production saying it had ploughed the forest cover to a paltry 7 per cent.
She called on police officers in Kitui to enforce the charcoal production and sand harvesting ban issued by the county government to protect the environment.
“This ban stands to be enforced until it is lifted by the County Government of Kitui. That is the law and anyone found culpable of the offence shall be charged before a court of law,” she said.
The ban was effected by a gazette notice dated January 16, 2018, following public outcry over the unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources in the County of Kitui.
“…it is notified to the public that with immediate effect the governor has banned the transportation and sale of charcoal and sand outside the geographical boundaries of the county of Kitui and revoked all licenses, permits and any other documentation,” it read in part.
Nthuku decried the wanton destruction of many water catchment areas saying communities no longer cared about environmental conservation which was the source of their livelihoods and that of future generations.
“Deforestation, degradation and encroachment of water towers and other catchment areas, uncontrolled human activities including wanton logging have threatened and undermined the county’s capability to ensure food security,” she said.