• The government seeks to plant about 10 million trees in the water tower.
The Kenya Forest Service has exuded confidence that all the tree seedlings planted early this month in Maasai Mau will survive.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko launched the tree planting drive dubbed Mau10MillionTrees November 1.
The rehabilitation of the tower followed the moving out of illegal settlers.
Yesterday, Kenya Forest Service Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau said the favourable weather conditions have ensured that all the trees survived.
"I can confirm that the entire trees planted are doing well due to favourable weather conditions," Kamau told the Star on phone.
Kamau conducted an aerial and ground tour of the Maasai Mau Forest Ecosystem on Thursday to monitor the progress of tree planting activity.
Speaking during the launch of the tree planting drive, Tobiko said 100 per cent of the settlers had vacated, paving way for the reclamation of the catchment area.
The settlers vacated after a 60-day window for them to voluntarily move out lapsed October 30.
The government seeks to plant about 10 million trees in the water tower.
Yesterday, Kamau said approximately half a million tree seedlings have been planted since the launch of the restoration program.
"I applaud the forest adjacent communities for complementing the Kenya Forest Service and stakeholders by participating in the ongoing tree-planting activities," Kamau said.
The CCF said he gave encouragements to forest adjacent communities to participate actively in forest conservation.
This, he said, is through the formation of Community Forest Associations that will inform legal frameworks through which they can sustainably benefit from forest resources.
During the launch of the tree planting drive, 200,000 seedlings were planted manually.
The aircraft, on the other hand, planted over four million seedlings.
This means that the tree seedlings planted so far have hit 4.7 million.
Phase one removal of illegal settlers in Maasai Mau Forest was carried out in July and August 2018.
The operation targeted about 2,400 settlers in Nkoben and Kass Fm areas of Maasai Mau.
An estimated 4,500 hectares of forest land was recovered.
The government said phase two of evictions targeted more than 10,000 households who have encroached the forest.
In total, 42,007.85 acres were recovered in an exercise that ended November 1.
Close to Sh 1 billion is needed for the restoration exercise.
Out of 42,007.85 acres (17,000 ha), 4,942.1 acres (2,000 ha) will be restored through tree planting, a document in our possession shows.
"These areas were completely degraded and cannot be restored by natural regeneration hence the need to fence off to facilitate tree planting in these areas," part of the report says.
The tower which has been divided into blocks will be adopted by various organizations and agencies for rehabilitation.
Already, the Kenya Water Towers Agency has announced plans of fencing 50 kilometres of the tower.