Kenya Forest Service has called on residents within Homa Bay County to embrace the culture of growing trees for progression towards the attainment of the 10 percent forest cover.
Homa Bay County Forest Conservator Mr. David Muigai said that tree growing does not only involve planting of trees alone but also nurturing the planted seedlings and protecting them to ensure their survival.
He said that by embracing the culture of tree growing, farmers are assured of both tangible and intangible benefits accrued from increased forest coverage.
Speaking with KNA in his office today, Muigai pointed out that KFS is committed to the attainment of the mandatory forest coverage and regretted the fact that tree coverage in Homa Bay is still very low.
“It is unfortunate that tree coverage in Homa Bay is unacceptably very low, only 2.6 percent. It is therefore very important to organize massive tree planting in this county which sadly cannot be achieved by KFS alone and so we have to involve various stakeholders and everyone within the county,” he explained.
The conservator explained that Homa Bay is a net importer of wood from neighboring counties such as Migori with very little to export, adding that the situation can be reversed only by planting more trees.
“I want to mention that Homa Bay usually gets wood requirements from other counties. We can reverse this trend by ensuring we plant lots of seedlings in our natural forests as well as the county government’s forests, personal farms and others so that at the end of the day we obtain environmental benefits from tree growing,” Muigai stated.
He explained that the department has around 1 million seedlings in a number of their nurseries which are ready for planting and urged farmers to visit them so that they can collect seedlings for planting.
He appealed to all stakeholders and partners to come in and help in facilitating farmers by providing them with the required seedlings.
Meanwhile, KFS has organized a tree planting launching ceremony today May 31 at Rabuor Primary School within Homa Bay town Sub County where a total of 500 seedlings will be planted.