CONSERVING ENVIRONMENT

Gatundu residents urged to plant indigenous trees

Kung’u raises concerns over the dominance of grevillea trees on most farms in the area

In Summary

• Kung’u said planting the trees, especially during this rainy season, will conserve the environment.

•  Thika subcounty environment officer Simon Guchu said planting of  indigenous trees should be replicated in other areas within the country.

Women tend to tree seedlings at Kwale Kenya Forest Service headquarters in Matuga in February 2022.
Women tend to tree seedlings at Kwale Kenya Forest Service headquarters in Matuga in February 2022.
Image: SHABAN OMAR

Environmentalists from Mama Ngina University have urged Gatundu residents to plant indigenous trees to restore the ecosystem destroyed over the years.

University principal Prof James Kung’u raised concerns over the dominance of grevillea trees on most farms in the area, saying that should a disease strike the species, the region would be adversely affected.

“We have noted with concern that the trees that are on most farms within this region are one species, grevillea. We are concerned because if there’s an outbreak of a disease or pest that attacks the species, then this region’s ecosystem would suffer," he said.

"This is why we are pleading and leading residents in planting different species of indigenous trees." 

They spoke during a tree planting drive at the university in Mutomo village. They planted 1,000 indigenous trees.

Kung’u said planting the trees, especially during this rainy season, will conserve the environment, addressing the erratic weather the country has been experiencing and boost forest cover.

“The extreme weather we have been experiencing is attributable to climate change and the consequences of our actions. The dry weather we have experienced has affected us all, most parts of the country are still experiencing drought and we lost our harvest. It’s high time we take seriously the issue of conserving our environment,” the principal said.

He said trees support human life in different ways, including contributing to food security, have medicinal value and are sources of wood energy for millions of Kenyans.

Kung’u said the university will be partnering with other institutions, including public primary schools in the region, to plant more indigenous trees.

“Climate change is real and it’s here with us. We must devise all means to address it. We believe in some years to come we will have significantly contributed towards improving our country’s forest cover,” Kung’u said.

 Thika subcounty environment officer Simon Guchu said planting of  indigenous trees should be replicated in other areas within the country.

“Communities should uphold planting of indigenous trees for their numerous values and for the sake of conserving the environment,” Guchu said.

Edited by A.N

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