By COUNTY DIARY.
MACHAKOS County Government has kicked off two million tree planting Campaign ahead of the 7th Devolution conference in 0August.
The Governor Dr Alfred Mutua was on Monday joined by H.E Prof. Paul Chepkwony, Governor Kericho County, Mr. Joel Kitili from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Machakos County Commissioner, Mr. Frederick Ndunga County, several distinguished guests and wananchi for a tree planting exercise at Kwa Nzambu Dam, Miwani village in Yatta Sub-County.
As we look forward to the seventh devolution conference slated for August 2021, I would like to say a huge thank you to the Council of Governors for path we have taken in protecting the environment. I am also grateful my colleague Kericho Governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony donated 50,000 seedlings to Machakos County.
Trees play a critical role in combating global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide and also in slowing water evaporation as well acting as soil stabilizers and help in preventing soil erosion. Trees are also the natural rain magnets and they provide habitat for hundreds of wildlife species.
I am happy that my people have discovered the economic opportunities in trees and they have invested heavily in cash generating trees. In recent times, Machakos has emerged as a top producer of mangoes, oranges and avocados.
As at 2013 forest cover in Machakos County stood at 2.4 per cent. According to data from the Department of Water and Environment my Government has distributed over 2,000,000 trees to Machakos County residents for the last seven years. This has seen Machakos County forest cover rise to 3.35 per cent.
Poverty is one of the key drivers of environmental destruction. Charcoal burning for economic survival by the poor is killing the efforts we are making in restoring our environment. I am therefore calling upon all leaders to focus on investing in other economic avenues that will put cash into the pockets of our people.
I would also like to urge H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider reducing the price of food commodities, subsidize the cost of electricity and also review the cost of other essential services. This will go a long way in cushioning Kenyans from the tough economic times occasioned by COVID-19.
Governor Mutua added.
A few days ago I assented the Machakos County Climate Bill 2021 into Machakos County Climate Change Act of 2021. I have tasked the Machakos Climate Committee to ensure that we have proper tree cover at all the places where we have set up water projects.
We have realized we have a high survival rate of trees in those areas but we shall still continue investing in other areas.
Lastly I urge all Machakos residents and Kenyans at large to take advantage of the ongoing rains and plant trees.