• County has been running four programmes under County Greening Initiative.
• Programme has seen county plant 579,692 trees since 2013.
The Nyeri county government has invested Sh22 million in tree planting to increase forest cover.
Governor Mutahi Kahiga said this year his administration is distributing seedlings worth Sh1.8 million to schools and other institutions.
His administration, he said, has set an ambitious target of increasing the forest cover to 42 per cent from the current 38 per cent in the long-term.
This calls for increased funding from the 2019-20 budget and development partners to achieve the agenda during his first term of office, the governor said.
“Next year, we target to plant over one million trees which will account for one per cent in approximately 2,000 hectares,” he said.
The county has been running four programmes under the County Greening Initiative: School Greening Programme, On-farm Forestry Programme, Riparian Reserves Conservation and Afforesting of Community Forests.
The programme has seen the county plant 579,692 trees, increasing the forest cover by 0.582 from 38.03 per cent to 38.612 per cent since 2013.
“I have also directed that all the five water services providers create nurseries and provide for increased percentage budgetary allocation for tree planting progressively each year until we realise this very ambitious target,” the governor said.
Speaking in Nyeri town on Monday, Kahiga said, “If the water service providers do not participate in the conservation of water towers, they will have no water to supply and taps will soon run dry.”
Nyeri is between some of the major water towers in the country, Mt Kenya and Aberdare.
The governor said his office is committed to giving the necessary policy direction related to the environment to ensure biodiversity and nature is accorded the highest level of protection.
“Towards this end, Nyeri has constituted the County Environment Committee which is formulating the County Environment Action Plan, which will be the environmental conservation blueprint for the next five years,” he said.
Edited by R.Wamochie