March 25th March

By county diary

The Kitui County government is fully working towards increasing the forest cover in the county. The announcement was been made by the County Environment and Natural Resources Minister hon John Muneeni Makau.

Kitui Deputy Dr Wathe Nzau was the chief guest at the function where he was representing Governor Charity Kaluki Ngilu.

“Our county’s forest cover ten years ago was 7 per cent but the percentage has now declined as a result of the charcoal production in the region, ” Dr wathe said. “And we are trying to achieve the nationally recommended 10 per cent forest cover in the county by planting plenty of trees in the county for the good of the environment, DG further said.

He was speaking to hundreds of people including school children during this year’s (7th) International Forests Day celebrations organised by the County Environment and Natural Resources Ministry in partnership with the National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya Forest Service, Ken Grow Foundation, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Kenya Red Cross and National Drought Management Authority at the Muthale Girls Secondary School in Kitui West District of Kitui County on Thursday, March 21, 2019.

This year’s theme of the event was “Forests and Education.” Nationally, the Bondo Teachers Training College in Siaya County was Kenya’s national venue for the event. The International Forests Day was set aside by the United Nations on March 21, 2012.

“Today we are celebrating the International Forests Day. The theme of this year’s event is forests and education and that is why we chose the Muthale Girls Secondary School as our county’s venue for the event,” Makau said.

The minister said that in January 2018 they (the county government) banned the charcoal and sand trade in the county to save the county from the heinously wanton destruction of the environment.

He disclosed that during the last year’s long rains (March to May) they (the county government planted a total of 600,000 trees in the county for the environmental conservation benefits.

And he added the community planted some 200,000 trees by their own during the very rains season. “And many of those trees have survived. We are monitoring their growth and we are happy with the progress,” the minister said. “That is a very great effort to our people and the government,” he added.

Makau called upon every person in the county to plant trees and conserve them for the benefits of the environment among other goodies.

“Trees is everything for the human beings and all the other creatures on earth. They provide us with clean oxygen that we breathe.

They also attract rains and also provide shades among other goodies. So the trees are very important for human beings and all the other creatures on earth,” Makau said.

The minister disclosed that the Kitui County has a total of 282 forests that he said 265 of them are managed by the government and 17 by the Kenya Forest Service. He added that in 2014 the county government came up with the County Charcoal Management Act.

The minister also disclosed that the county has a total of seven water towers namely Endau, Muumoni, Nuu, Mutha, Mutitu, Mutomo and Mutuluni. The minister announced that Kitui is one of the five counties in Kenya that have come with the county climate change funds.

“The other four counties are Garissa, Wajir, Makueni and Isiolo,” he said. Makau also announced that the fire that was burning the Mutitu Forest in Mutitu District in Kitui County was still burning the forest. “Efforts are still being done by the Kenya Forest Service officers, our ministry officers and the community members to put off the inferno before it destroys much of the forest,” the minister said.

The Mutitu Forest is one of the 17 gazetted forests in Kitui County. The function was also addressed by the County Deputy Governor Dr.Gideon Wathe Nzau, the County Commissioner Samuel Wanjohi Kimiti and the Kenya Forest Service Kitui County Ecosystem Conservator Joyce Nzuku among others.

Nzau was the chief guest at the function where he was representing Governor Charity Kaluki Ngilu.

The end of the Story.