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In line with the implementation of Presidential Directives to achieve a target of 10% national tree cover by 2022, the Dryland Eco-Region Research Programme (DERP) on 6th November, 2020 planted 1000 tree seedlings at Central Primary School, Kitui County and distributed 500to Mwingi sub-county and 1000 seedlings to Kitui School respectively.
Dryland Eco-region Centre Director Dr. Luvanda officiated the event which was a joint collaboration with Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government-Kitui County, Ecosystem Conservator (KFS), Ministry of Environment Kitui County, County Commissioner’s office, Kazi Mtaani initiative and County Government of Kitui.
Stakeholders who graced the occasion were drawn from various institutions and organisations in Kitui County Government and KEFRI Headquarters. They included; Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya Forest Service, Wildlife Society of Kenya, Potters Church and Kazi Mtaani Youths in Kitui County.
The master of ceremony Dr. Albert Luvanda together with Deputy Director Corporate Affairs and Quality Assurance, Dr. Jackson Mulatya representing Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment Mr. Keriako Tobiko, Director KEFRI, Dr. Joshua Cheboiwo and Dr. Robert Nyambati representing the National tree planting Committee also graced the occasion.
Kitui County Commissioner Mr. John Odengo who planted neem tree (Azadrachta indica) urged stakeholders to upscale tree planting in the County which is yet to attain the desired 10 percent forest cover. He also encouraged the youth under ‘Kazi kwa Vijana Mtaani’ to establish tree nurseries for to improve their livelihoods promising to visit Central Primary School to see the progress of the trees and in particular the one he the occasion.
Kitui KFS Ecosystem Conservator Ms Joyce Nthuku encouraged all the participants to embrace tree growing during the rainy season in order to achieve the 10% tree cover by 2022. Further, she urged farmers to seek for seedlings and technical support from the relevant offices notably KFS and KEFRI. The conservator reported that Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kitui County in collaboration with other stakeholders have been on the forefront to achieve the 10% forest cover in the past 5 years.
Dr. Jackson Mulatya reminded the participants that the CS had already flagged off tree planting exercise in the country, adding that all the nurseries shall be registered by KFS and certified by KEFRI to ensure quality of seedling production in the country. In addition he called upon all the youth to venture in tree nursery as alternate source of income.
Dr. Nyamabati while appreciating the participants during the auspicious occasion called upon the stakeholders to continue working as a team and asked the school to take good care of the planted trees. Central School head teacher Mr. Michael Kaboro appreciated all stakeholders and promised to take care of the trees planted as part commitment to increase the school forest cove