Kenya news

Plant more trees to increase forest cover, North Eastern RC – Kenya News Agency

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Northeastern regional commissioner John Otieno has urged area residents to plant more trees so as to increase the forest cover and avert adverse effects of climate change in the region and the country at large.

Otieno said the unprecedented floods that are being witnessed across the country, which have claimed more than 280 lives and led to thousands of households being displaced, are the result of climate change.

“We have all witnessed what climate change can do to a region and, by extension, a country. “In the Northeastern, we have not been spared, as we are either in a food cycle or a drought,” he said.

“The only way out of this mess is to heed the presidential directives on tree planting and take advantage of today’s public holiday set aside to plant trees. We should not be left behind in this important exercise,” he said.

The regional commissioner was speaking today at the Garissa teachers training college, where he led area residents in a tree planting exercise.

President Ruto announced on Wednesday that today, Friday, 10th, will be a public holiday and a national tree planting exercise.

Otieno also disclosed that the three counties of Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa had already met their target of planting 10,000 trees and, in most places, surpassed it.

Otieno called on chiefs and their assistants to take a leading role in the national exercise by planting trees in the homesteads and office compounds.

“How are you going to convince the people under your jurisdiction to plant trees whereas you have not planted even a single tree in your own compound or office compound?” the regional commissioner posed.

“The only way to convince the wananchi to plant trees is to lead by example. This is a national exercise that each and every administrator must take seriously and give the attention it deserves,” he added.

On his part, Environment Crusader Abdikadir Aden said the current floods in the county have been caused by the depletion of trees, especially along the river Tana catchment area.

Aden pointed out that trees are being felled for charcoal burning because of poverty.

He called on the government to subsidise the prices of cooking gas so that even the poorest of Kenyans can buy and avoid charcoal in order to save the forest from being further depleted.

“Our biggest undoing in North Eastern is poverty. In order to curb tree cutting and destruction of our environment, we need to empower those involved in the business by finding alternative sources of income for them,” Aden said.

By Jacob Songok

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