• County plants over two million trees in two years to rehabilitate degraded forests and conserve the Mara Basin.
• County focusing on environmental conservation, sustainable land use, climate-smart agriculture, empowerment of farmers and drought-resistant crops.
Bomet county has planted more than two million trees in two years and is focusing on environmental conservation.
Governor Dr Hillary Barchok said that the countrywide tree planting exercise aims to increase forest cover from 15 per cent to 17 per cent by the year 2022. He made the remarks during the 9th Mara Day celebrations in Narok county at the Mara Serena Hotel.
Barchok said his administration has developed policies for environmental conservation, sustainable land use, climate-smart agriculture, farmers' empowerment and planting of drought-resistant crops.
"To conserve the Mara ecosystem, we have protected more than 100 springs, streams and rivers feeding the Mara River," the governor said.
The county Climate Change Policy and Climate Change Bill established a framework to access climate funds from the national government and other donors.
The county boss said the complexity of the Mara ecosystem and the threats to it are of great concern to counties in the Mara Basin.
“As custodians of the ecosystem, we all need to rise to the occasion and stand with this very critical resource that has captured global attention with its ecological importance,” Barchok said.
The Mara ecosystem faces many threats, he said.
"We are cutting down trees, cultivating up to the river banks, overgrazing, increasing human habitation, rearing many livestock and engaging in many other activities that destroy the ecosystem,” the governor said.
The county is working to protect the catchment divide in Bomet; the other is in Narok county.
“I encourage everyone to embrace a culture of conservation through planting both deep-rooted trees and nitrogen-fixing plants," Barchok said.
He said it was also necessary to loosen the compact soil for agriculture where appropriate. Residents will be given particular tree species with economic benefits to improve their livelihoods and conserve the environment.
(Edited by V. Graham)