We'll not give out blue gum seedlings, says PS

PS Joseph Motari. Principal Secretary for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Social Protection and Senior Citizens Affairs Principal Secretary Joseph Motari has warned Gusii residents that the Government will not distribute blue gum seedlings in the ongoing national tree planting exercise.

Speaking at Nyaisa Manga SDA Primary School, Mr Motari said the government is keen on only distributing indigenous trees and other species that do not affect the environment.

“I am happy that the Nyamira County Government has a policy to cut down all eucalyptus trees from water sources and other riparian areas. Blue gums have led to the drying of several water sources,” he said.

The PS the National Tree Planting Day should not be used by civil servants to stay at home.

“This is not a holiday. We have rain and must use this opportunity to ensure we have hit the target. We are not forcing anybody into this exercise,” he said.

He encouraged locals to plant trees on a large scale.

“I have planted more than five acres of trees, both indigenous and hass avocado varieties. I have been able to generate more than Sh5 million,” said the PS.

What makes Kisii and Nyamira counties evergreen are the millions of eucalyptus trees grown by the locals. However, many people grow eucalyptus trees, also known as blue gum trees, to make money and not for conservation.

Those driving the campaign against planting of blue gum trees want to preserve wetlands, marshlands, swamps and water catchment areas.