Plans are underway to start this year’s national tree planting exercise in earnest as the country gears towards marking the International Day for Forests (IDF) next week.
The tree planting exercise is expected to coincide with the start of long rains with some parts of the western Kenya region have started to receive some rainfall.
The Meteorological department has confirmed that the outlook for March 2023 indicates that a few areas over Lake Victoria Basin and extreme northwestern parts of the country are likely to experience near average rainfall but most are likely to experience below-average rainfall.
The tree planting restoration exercise is part of the government’s plans to plant 15 billion trees across the country by 2032 as directed by President William Ruto.
The Western Kenya, Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) Conservator Mrs. Rose Akombo told KNA that the tree planting exercise in the region will commence next week, March 21 as the country marks International Forest Day.
“The IDF will be launched in all the 47 counties and the National exercise will be held in Homabay county” she said.
“In Kakamega, the launch will be at Iloro Kakamega forest station, with similar exercises concurrently taking place in Busia, Bungoma and Vihiga” she added.
“This year’s IDF theme is forests and health. Forests give us so much to our health. They purify the water, clean the air, and capture carbon to fight climate change, provide food and life-saving medicines and improve our well-being,” she said.
And in an effort to streamline the tree planting restoration exercise, the Western Regional Commissioner (RC) Samson Macharia has directed all regional heads to prepare tree-growing Action Plans to spearhead the planting of five million (5,000,000) trees in the region.
These plans, he says, will help harmonize all existing plans and identify possible areas of coordination to avoid duplication of roles during planting seasons.
KFS is now using a new technique, the adopt-a-forest strategy where stakeholders are allowed to invest in the restoration of forest ecosystems.