Trans Nzoia county targets to plant 11.9 million trees

Resident participating in tree planting to protect Lumuli dam in Trans Nzoia County. [Martin Ndiema, Standard]

Trans Nzoia county government targets to plant 119 million trees by 2032 under its ambitious afforestation programme.

Chief Officer for Environment Dorothy Nyukuri said the county government has put in place measures to ensure that all seedlings planted grow to maturity to combat degradation of the environment.

“I urge environmental stakeholders to ensure that all trees planted are properly nurtured to grow and fulfill their intended purpose,” said Nyukuri.

She regretted that failure to nurture seedlings has been a setback in efforts to restore tree cover in the past.

Nyukuri said tree planting will be integrated with agricultural practices through Community Forest Associations (CFS).

The Chief Officer urged farmers to grow trees alongside crops, to complement county efforts to enhance tree survival rate and foster a sustainable environment.

“As we focus on planting trees, we should also ensure that every tree matures, to improve forest cover and make our efforts a success,” Nyukuri added.

Elly Tinda, the Trans Nzoia County Conservator, said the tree planting initiative was a vital measure to restore the forests and biodiversity.

“Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has designated 45,000 hectares for adoption for tree growing, aimed at fostering socioeconomic development within the county while providing commercial services,” Tinda explained.

"We urge farmers to participate actively in this campaign. By adopting a model where trees are planted alongside crops, the initiative not only improves the environment but also enhances agricultural productivity and provides additional income sources for farmers," he added.

James Cabinda, an environmentalist noted that by planting trees, the environment is safeguarded and the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on forests for their sustenance guaranteed.

"Local schools have integrated tree planting into their curriculum, educating students about the importance of environmental conservation from young age. Community tree nurseries have sprung up in rural areas, providing residents with access to seedlings and training on proper planting techniques," said Cabinda.

Nyukuri revealed that the county government is working on educational programmes to raise awareness about the importance of nurturing trees and sustainable agricultural practices.

She said the programmes will equip farmers and residents with the knowledge and skills needed to maintain and protect trees.