TO DOUBLE TREE COVER

KWS to drop tree seed balls in parks and reserves using choppers

The agency targets planting 100,000 trees every year using the new method

In Summary

• Wildlife PS Prof Fred Segor said the move is in line with the Cabinet’s decision that all ministries and state departments begin planting trees across the country.

• Segor said the ministry had decided to use KWS as a lead agency in tree planting as it was in charge of wildlife parks.

WIld Life PS Fred Segor (C) inspects land for the proposed LVBC headquarters.
WIld Life PS Fred Segor (C) inspects land for the proposed LVBC headquarters.
Image: FILE

The Kenya Wildlife Service has launched a tree-planting initiative to double the forest cover in all national parks and game reserves in the country.

Under the joint programme with other stakeholders, the agency targets planting 100,000 trees every year using helicopters.

Wildlife PS Prof Fred Segor said the move is in line with the Cabinet’s decision that all ministries and state departments begin planting trees across the country.

Segor said the ministry had decided to use KWS as a lead agency in tree planting as it was in charge of wildlife parks.

The PS said the service will use choppers to drop seed balls in the parks. 

“This is a new concept where we will drop seeds from the air in parks that we know they can germinate easily and quickly,” he said.

He said the initiative was part of government efforts in increasing the forest cover from the current 7.2 per cent to 10 per cent.

“We have so far planted 10,000 trees in the first phase but the next one will have to use choppers to hasten the process,” he said.

Segor spoke to the press when he led senior ministry and KWS officials in a tree-planting initiative at the KWS Training Institute in Naivasha.

He said KWS had sufficient land to carry out tree planting and called on Kenyans to support the government’s initiative to increase the forest cover.

KWS Director General John Waweru said the seeds had been treated and could not be damaged or eaten by wild animals.

Waweru termed the method as fast and effective because the seeds have a dormancy period of five years by which they would have germinated.

“These are quality seeds that will be released from the air and we are sure that they will grow in any circumstances and on whatever park in the country,” he said.

Seed Kenya official Teddy Kinyanjui said the seeds had been tested by Kenya Forestry Research Institute and certified to be of acceptable standards.

He said the germination rate under the method was 60 per cent.  

“This concept can be applied anywhere from any location and on all areas that had been degraded as a means of restoring our forest cover,” he said.