IMPROVING FOREST COVER

Homa Bay to plant 400,000 trees in next financial year

Deputy governor says they have set aside Sh2 million for tree planting in the budget

In Summary

• Research done by climatologists shows county has been experiencing fluctuating rainfall patterns due to climate change. 

• Assembly drafting bill to regulate tree felling. 

Some of the Indigenous trees planted and nurtured in Kapchemutwa forest.
Some of the Indigenous trees planted and nurtured in Kapchemutwa forest.
Image: STEPHEN RUTTO

Homa Bay government has announced a plan to plant 400,000 trees in the coming financial year.

The county wants to revive its forests and stem the loss of tree varieties due to deforestation.

Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata and Water and Environment executive Dickson Nyawinda said they had set aside Sh2 million for tree planting in the budget which will be read in a few weeks.

Research conducted by climatologists from the University of Nairobi has shown that Homa Bay county has fluctuating rainfall patterns due to climate change.

The research led by Clifford Omondi and published in the  Journal of Sustainability, Environment and Peace revealed that the county loses water rapidly due to drying water sources.

It recommends that the county commences environmental conservation initiatives.

“Temperature influences precipitation and evapotranspiration and, therefore, has a bearing on surface water resources in Homa Bay. Climate-driven fluctuations in surface water availability within Homa Bay county affect sectors of the economy that depend on water resources,” the study reads.

Speaking during World Environment Day at Homa Bay Boys’ High School, Orata said the project targets afforestation on forests including Wire, Kodera and Gembe.

“We are also targeting schools because we want to make Homa Bay green. The environment is the key to economic development,” Orata said on Wednesday.

Nyawinda urged residents to embrace the culture of planting trees.

“I call on stakeholders to prioritise tree planting in their respective villages to enable us to achieve the required vegetation cover,” Nyawinda said.  

He argued that planting trees should be a cardinal responsibility of every resident. 

The leaders told residents to develop a self-drive in which every event is accompanied by tree planting. 

(Edited by R. Wamochie)