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VAS

Institution restocks trees in key forests

COUNTIES
By | April 27th 2012

By JOB WERU and RENSON BULUMA

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has kicked off a tree planting programme that will see the restocking of Mt Kenya and Aberdare forests, which were recently engulfed in wildfires.

At the same time, KFS announced that it has set aside three million seedlings to be distributed to residents for planting to attain the targeted ten per cent forest cover.

Nyeri Zonal KFS manager Tom Mathinji said over 400 hectares of forestland in the two water towers was badly damaged.

Speaking during the launch of the tree-planting programme at Gakanga area in Kieni, a section that was previously under the scrapped shamba system, Mathinji said about 70 per cent of 384 hectares that were destroyed have been rehabilitated.

onset of rains

"We are engaging communities in the areas in our initiatives. We have three million seedlings, which we are distributing to farmers so that they can take part, even if it is planting in their farms," said Mathinji.

He added sections of the forests that were badly affected by fires include the moorland.

"Vegetation has started regenerating following the onset of rains. We hope that within a few weeks, the areas will be restocked.

And in the eastern bloc of Mt Kenya Forest, KFS has started replacing trees in over 1,000 hectares of forestland.

Eastern Conservancy Regional Commandant Stephen Muigai said tree planting programmes are taking place in Meru Central, North and South, Tharaka, Embu, Mbeere, Mwingi, Kitui, Machakos and Makueni. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Forestry is set to distribute over 500,000 tree seedlings for planting at various public facilities within various centres in Busia County.

Technical support

Area Forest Development Officer James Were said the seedlings would be distributed to schools, hospitals and markets, among other places. The exercise will cover Busia, Nambale, Butula, Samia and Bunyala districts.

"Soon we shall launch a tree planting exercise that will involve the Provincial Administration and all forestry officers in the county," said Mr Were.

He appealed to locals to take advantage of the ongoing rains to plant more trees, especially on hilly places. Were added that forestry officers will be available to offer necessary technical support to tree farmers and any other persons interested in planting trees.

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