Restore Africa has launched a tree planting and restoration exercise at Iten grounds aimed at increasing forest cover in various parts of the country. The exercise is targeting to plant at least three Million trees in the next five years in Elgeyo Marakwet. Restore Africa Program is an initiative geared towards restoration of degraded land through local smallholder farmers. Restore Africa Program Director Mr. Kiunga Karego Kimani noted that the programme is seeking to improve livelihoods, food security and resilience to climate change. The organization is also looking at working with 250,000 farmers in four counties. The program will be implemented in four counties that are, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kwale, Narok and Kilifi with the aim of restoring 250,000 hectares of land and improving livelihoods of small-scale farmers and pastoral households. Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich asked the NGO to engage the local community through all the Members of County Assembly MCAs and Ward Administrators to ensure that the exercise achieves the objective within the specified timeframe. The Governor asked the organization to source all tree seedlings from the County, highlighting that there are sufficient seedlings and the local farmers have the capacity to supply. Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner Mr. John Korir said that the only way to salvage the forest cover from wanton degradation in Elgeyo Marakwet is to inculcate tree planting culture in the younger generation. ‘We have done disservice to the environment and the only way to salvage it is to bring in a new generation that will embrace the environment,’ said Korir. The County Commissioner warned charcoal burners who he blamed for environmental degradation in Kerio Valley that their illegal human activities have contributed towards the decreased forest cover.
Source: Kenya News Agency