- Barasa said he is happy to announce that plans to fence the forest are in top gear.
- "In collaboration with various partners, we will mobilise resources to support fencing of the 117km of the Kakamega forest ecosystem," he said.
Kakamega Governor Fernandez Barasa has launched an ambitious programme to restore Kakamega forest.
On Friday, he joined key stakeholders on a tree planting exercise at Kakamega Forest service grounds aimed at rehabilitating critically degraded sites of the forest.
Kakamega forest is the only tropical rain forest in Kenya.
Barasa thanked the local community for embracing the tree planting initiative saying they are important stakeholders in the efforts to ensure the forest is packaged as a major tourist destination.
“I want to appreciate efforts made by the community living around the forest for their concerted efforts to maintain the forest," he said.
"I wish to advise each one of us to inculcate the culture of tree growing into the young generation in order to achieve the goal of increasing and maintaining the national tree cover to at least 10 per cent by 2022.”
Barasa also revisited the issue of fencing the forest saying plans to do so are at an advanced stage.
Six months ago, the United Nations Development Programme revived Kakamega county's ambitious programme of fencing the forest.
The project stalled due to what former governor Wycliffe Oparanya termed as frustration by the national government.
Oparanya then said his administration had set aside the required amount, but state departments frustrated efforts to implement the project.
The county had set aside Sh100 million for the 117km project. The total amount required for the project was Sh336.9 million.
UNDP announced that they will facilitate the fencing of 15kms of the tropical rainforest.
Barasa said he is happy to announce that plans to fence the forest are in top gear.
"In collaboration with various partners, we will mobilise resources and bring onboard other stakeholders, to support fencing of the 117km of the Kakamega forest ecosystem," he said.
The governor was accompanied by Western forest conservator Rose Akombo and the chair County Public Service Board Catherine Omweno.
Others were county executives Dr George Akolo Lutomia (Education) and Rodah Masaviru (Water & Environment).
The county secretary and head of Public Service Amb James Ochami was also present.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)