Commissioner urges Kwale leaders to protect water tower

President William Ruto plants a tree during the official opening of Devki Steel Limited at Samburu in Kwale County. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha has called on leaders to protect the Shimba Hills National Reserve, a water tower in the region.

Onyancha who was accompanied by Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani during tree planting in Kubo South, Matuga Sub-county, warned residents against wanton destruction of trees for charcoal burning.

Shimba Hills National Reserve is the source of Marere water springs, that supplies water to Kwale and Mombasa counties via the Marere pipeline.

The Coast Regional Commissioner was speaking at Kichaka Simba Primary School where she led residents to mark the National Tree Planting Day on Friday.

She commended Governor Achani's efforts in planting trees and called for more collaboration in environmental conservation.

"If we don't plant trees, water will become scarce and this is where we have water towers," said Onyancha.

The administrator called for an end to charcoal burning citing its adverse effects in Kinango and Samburu Sub-counties, which have experienced drought.

Governor Achani emphasized collective responsibility in addressing climate change and called for increased efforts in greening Kwale County.

"This is everyone's responsibility because we all know where climate change has brought us. That is why, as a county, we have continued supplying fruit trees to residents, ensuring we tackle food security as well," she said.

Deputy Governor Chirema Kombo and the Kwale Women Representative Fatuma Masito, commended the governor's efforts in environmental conservation through the planting of trees. 

More than 10,000 trees were planted at the school on Friday, with leaders reiterating their commitment to plant more trees and conserve the Shimba Hills water tower.

The exercise was replicated across the county, where more than 20,000 trees were planted.

Achani has spearheaded the planting of more than 600,000 trees and targets to plant over 29 million trees by 2032 as part of the national government initiative to grow 15 billion trees across the country.