- During the exercise, 500 trees were planted at Malaba primary with 300 more being planted at the OSBP on Wednesday.
- KRA said all trees planted by the authority will be monitored to ensure they grow to maturity.
The Kenya Revenue Authority has planted over 5,000 trees in Western as it moves to fulfil the government’s initiative of increasing forest cover to at least 10 per cent by 2022.
KRA regional managers on Wednesday led a team of officials from the authority to plant trees at Malaba primary school as well as the One-Stop Border Post in Malaba town.
During the exercise, 500 trees were planted at Malaba Primary, with 300 more being planted at the OSBP.
Another 1,300 were planted at the Lwakhakha One-Stop Border Post on Thursday. Another 3,200 trees have already been planted in Kakamega.
Customs regional manager for Western Aden Ibrahim said the exercise is also part of the initiative by KRA to give back to society.
“We are planting trees in line with the government's directive of increasing forest cover by 10 per cent,” Aden said.
“In the Western region, we targeted to plant 3,000 trees, but so far we have planted more than 5,000 trees. We intend to ensure that we achieve the 10 per cent forest cover as we play our role as a responsible corporate institution.
“KRA’s mandate is about revenue but we also have to ensure we secure the society and by planting trees, we ensure that we take care of our environment so that we avoid issues of drought and other calamities brought about by deforestation.”
He said all trees planted by KRA will be monitored to ensure they grow to maturity.
Selected officials from KRA, he said, will be tasked with monitoring the growth of the trees. Those that will wither will be replaced.
“The call here is not only to plant trees but to also make sure the trees grow. It is our responsibility to ensure the trees we plant achieve the desired goal,” Aden said.
Busia County Kenya Forestry Services chief Vitalis Osodo said KFS targets to plant about 20,000 trees in Malaba alone and its environs.
He said there was a need by stakeholders in the forestry discipline to closely work together in increasing forest cover in the county which presently stands at 3.5 per cent.
“KFS targets to plant 20,000 trees within Malaba region. The programme will continue until we achieve the 20,000 trees mark and that applies to various institutions and public land,” he said.
“We want to ensure that by the year 2022, we would have achieved the 10 per cent tree cover. We encourage the local community to plant more trees.”
He said KFS will educate the public on the importance of increasing forest cover at a time when the country is facing changing climatic conditions.
“We have sensitised some people locally and we will continue doing so. As KFS, we will support on the side of seedling production and provide technical knowledge so that we involve the community in this process,” he said.
The Kenya Forest Service is currently rehabilitating 4,015,545.2078 acres of heavily degraded forest land in the country.
KFS says it has laid out a strategy aimed at increasing the forest cover from the current 7.2 per cent to 10 per cent by 2022. To achieve the target, KFS needs Sh48 billion.
Under the strategy, Kenya needs to plant 1.8 billion seedlings by 2022 to achieve 10 per cent tree cover.
-Edited by SKanyara