CONSERVATION

Youths team up to revive indigenous trees in Aberdare Forest

Kefri urged to investigate why a lot of indigenous trees had dried up in the forest.

In Summary

• Kefri urged to investigate why a lot of indigenous trees had dried up in the forest.

• In a bid to protect the indigenous trees in Aberdare Forest, different youth groups from different parts of the county have started campaigns to aid in planting them.

Kennedy Mburu attends to the Red Stinkwood locally known as Muiri at his tree nursery in Nyahururu. The youths in Nyandarua County have resorted to replenishing the Aberdare forest that has witnessed indigenous trees dry up.
Kennedy Mburu attends to the Red Stinkwood locally known as Muiri at his tree nursery in Nyahururu. The youths in Nyandarua County have resorted to replenishing the Aberdare forest that has witnessed indigenous trees dry up.
Image: ANGELINE GATHONI

The increased number of indigenous trees and drying up has raised concerns in Nyandarua County forcing youths to soil their hands to conserve the Aberdare forest.

Martin Mwangi, the Chief Officer for Water and Environment in Nyandarua County called upon Kenya Forest Research Institute (Kefri) to investigate and research why a lot of indigenous trees had dried up in the forest.

He said that there is a need to come up with strategies on how to ensure that indigenous species of trees in the Aberdare forest are taken care of.

“Despite all the good things the Aberdare forest brings to us, its beauty is deteriorating more so with the dying of the indigenous trees. The forest is a source of rivers in the county. The rivers are a source of livelihoods for many residents," Mwangi said.

NEW STRATEGIES

“There is a need to implement strategies on how to revive the growth of indigenous trees in this forest and protect the water sources.”

In a bid to protect the indigenous trees in Aberdare Forest, different youth groups from different parts of the county have started campaigns to aid in planting them.

Ubora Youth Group leader, Patrick Kuria, said that it has come to their attention that there is a reduction and drying up of indigenous trees in Aberdare forest and that they won’t sit back and watch the downfall of the forest.

“We have the most affected species which are African Olive (Mutamaiyu) and African Junifer (Mutarakwa) which we are targeting to replenish,” he said.

“We will not sit down and watch as we lose important aspects in the forest. We have decided to initiate campaigns concerning planting of trees so as to protect and conserve the forest."

Kuria underscored the importance of conserving the water catchment area and minimizing global warming.

He further urged the youths to embrace afforestation as a way of earning their livelihood and discouraged them against deforestation.

Aberdare Ranges which is the host for the Aberdare Forest Reserve is a source of many rivers including the River Malewa that drains into Lake Naivasha and the Ewaso Nyiro river basin.

Kenya Forest Service has in the recent past partnered with the Kenya Defence Forces and other non-governmental organizations to plant trees in schools within Kinangop Subcounty, in a bid to increase the forest cover.

Edited by D Tarus