By BONIFACE MULU
Kitui County Value and Chain Addition Advisor, Dr. Temi Mutia, has announced that they (the county government) have a special initiative they have started with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) for the benefits of the local people and the county.
Through the programme, the KEFRI is going to train the local groups on honey production and the juices, jam and wine making from the Tamarind-tree (Tamarandus indica), Vitex payos and baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruits among other wild fruits.
The groups will be given to the institute for the training by the county government. “The KEFRI has the legal mandate as a research institute and through it we want to do the bamboo planting here at the Kyamutotya Hill like never before,” Mutia said.
Mutia, who is the Patron of the Kyamutotya Environmental Conservation and Management Project in Muivu Village of Nzauni Location, Mwingi West District in Kitui County, was speaking to the project’s members among others during this year’s Kyamutotya Annual Tree Planting Exercise held on Saturday, December 21, 2019 where the acting KEFRI Kitui Regional Research Centre Director Bernard Kimani Kigwa was the chief guest at the function.
About 1,000 tree seedlings by the KEFRI were planted at the Kyamutotya Hill during the event.The seedlings included the bamboo, Arborea gmelina, Acasia and Croton. Mutia said that the conservation initiative was formed by professionals from the greater Mwingi District. The greater district has already been split into seven districts namely Mwingi Central, Kyuso, Muumoni, Mwingi East, Mwingi West, Syeikulu and Thangisyu.
The patron said the conservation initiative has been planting trees at the Kyamutotya Hill over the last three years. “I have the pleasure to invite you to this year’s event,” the group leader said.He highly thanked all those who attended the event. Mutia also highly thanked the Muivu Village people for doing the environmental conservation matters.
“We (the county government) are also going to rehabilitate the silted dams in the area when the current rains ends as we promised,” he told the gathering.The Kitui County Value and Chain Addition Advisor said the bamboo is used for making the clothes we wear. “It is not the cotton any more.
It is the bamboo. I have learned of this technology when I visited Taiwan with the governor,” Mutia added.I want to introduce you to the bamboo because it is transforming in a special way towards dealing with the climate change,” the expert said. In his speech, Kigwa said the bamboo is good for the soil conservation. The KEFRI official said that the bamboo has a lot of benefits and as a result,
“he urged the locals to plant it in plenty.There are more than 1,000 bamboo species in the world. The bamboo, which belongs to grass family, grows everywhere in the world except those places extremely cold climates. The bamboo is thought to have originated in China.
Kigwa said there are some edible bamboos in the world and added that there are some others that are not eaten by human beings.He said the bamboo has the best charcoal in the world where he said that it takes five to ten years for it to be used for charcoal production.
The forester added that in counties like Japan and China, the bamboo is used in making the best furniture including the cupboards, tables, beds, chairs and stools. “And also, the bamboo is used in the tooth-picks making,” the expert added.He further said that the bamboo is used for construction purposes. Kigwa also talked about the benefits from the Melia volkensii tree and urged the locals to farm it for their own good.
The official announced that they the KEFRI Kitui Regional Research Centre cover thirteen of the Kenya’s 47 counties.The 13 include Kitui, Tharaka Nithi, Garissa, Wajir, Lamu, Kajiado, Machakos, Tana River, Makueni and Taita Taveta Counties, according to him. The regional office is in Kitui Town, the headquarters of Kitui Country.
Kigwa decried the rate at which the Ukambani region (Kitui, Machakos and Makueni Counties) wood carvers were destroying the hard-wood tree species there through wood carving activities.
“They have now dangerously turned to the Terminalia brownie for wood carvings after they have destroyed all the Dalbergia melanoxylon trees in the region,” the KEFRI official complained.
They are destroying the entire Terminalia brownie tree for wood carvings including the roots, Kigwa added.“So let us plant plenty of trees for they have so many uses,” the expert said.
The Village Administrator Jacklyn Saina, the Mwingi West Horticulture Cooperative Society Limited Advisory Committee Secretary J.Lemmy Mukala and a local community mobiliser Mary Ngonde also addressed the occasion among others.