FOREST COVER

State to rehabilitate 45,220 degraded acres

Twenty-seven government ministries, departments and agencies have adopted land to be reforested and conserved

In Summary

• Kenya intends to increase forest cover to 10 per cent by 2022, a move requiring Sh48 billion.  

Kenya Forest Service chief conservatorJulius Kamau plants a tree with a student..
FOREST COVER: Kenya Forest Service chief conservatorJulius Kamau plants a tree with a student..
Image: COURTESY

The plan to increase forest cover to 10 per cent by 2022 has gained momentum after ministries, departments and agencies adopted 45,220 acres to be rehabilitated.

Kenya Forest Service chief conservator Julius Kamau told the Star negotiations with other institutions are underway.

"At least 400,000 hectares (988,422 acres) of public forests under KFS  are degraded and need to be fixed," he said.

KFS manages 6.4 million acres and helps counties manage 4.2 million acres.

On May 12, 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged government ministries, departments, and agencies to dedicate 10 per cent of their CSR budgets to increasing forest cover.

The current forest cover  is 7.2 per cent.

Ten per cent coverage will require at least Sh48 billion to plant at least two billion trees.

About 22 non-state organisations have adopted  39,823 acres countrywide.

Eden Reforestation Projects, Safaricom Foundation, Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes, WWF, and EABL/Nature Kenya are some of the prominent non-state actors that have adopted various forests.

NCBA has established a 1 million capacity tree nursery.

Vihiga county constructed Forester’s Office in Maragoli Hills and it is establishing a tree nursery. It will adopt 74 acres to rehabilitate.

Meru county drilled a borehole for a tree nursery producing one million seedlings annually.

Cabinet Secretaries have adopted about six acres and planted 2,500 seedlings in Ngong Rroad forest.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adopted about five acres in Uplands Forest and another five in Ngong Forest before planting 2,000 seedlings in each of them.

Energy Ministry has adopted 247 acres  in Meru's lower Imenti and planted 100,000 seedlings. It has also contributed Sh4.5 million cash.

The ICT ministry has adopted 

The Ministry of ICT has adopted about 15 acres in Ngong Hills, planted 6,000 seedlings and contributed Sh1.4 million.

The Attorney General's office has adopted six acres, planted 2,500 seedlings and contributed Sh240,000 cash.

The Kenya Defence Forces through the Environmental Soldier Programme has adopted 123 acres in Ngong Hills, Kibiku, and Ololua forests. It has planted 55,000 seedlings.

The Prisons Services has adopted Kenya prisons have adopted 247 acres in Marmanet and planted 50,000 seedlings.

Vihiga county has adopted 12 acres in Maragoli Hills and planted  5,000 seedlings.

The Insurance Regulatory Authority has adopted 50 acres in Tudor Creek mangroves and planted 15,500 seedlings.

IRA has also made a direct contribution of Sh1.1 million and will maintain and protect a planted site for three years.

Kamau said increasing the forest cover to 10 per cent is an enormous task but it is achievable if state and nonstate actors pitch in.

The Embassy of South Korea has adopted about 60 acres in Uplands, Kiambu, and planted 24,000 seedlings.

The Embassy of Israel has adopted about seven and a half acres in  Kiambu and planted 3,000 seedlings.

The National Council for Persons with Disabilities has adopted 49 acres  in Ontulili, and planted 23,450 seedlings and donated Sh1 million.

The Electricity Regulatory Commission has adopted 24 acres  in Nakuru and planted 10,000 seedlings.

Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority has adopted 30 hectares in Chepalungu Forest and planted 32,000 seedlings.

The Kenya Ports Authority has adopted 10 hectares in Makupa Creek, planted 10,000 seedlings and donated Sh1 million.

The University of Nairobi has adopted two hectares in Ngong Road and planted 2,200 seedlings. and another 15.5 hectares in Ngong Hills and planted 15,500 seedlings.

The Kenya Commercial Bank has adopted five hectares in Ngong Hills and planted 5,000 seedlings.

World Wide Fund For Nature has adopted 80 hectares in Bomet and planted 80,000 seedlings. EABL and Nature Kenya haveadopted 13 hectares in Nyeri and planted 12,714 seedlings.

In Embu, EABL and Nature Kenya adopted three hectares and planted 3,000 seedlings and 12 hectares in Murang'a and planted 11,430 seedlings.

EABL and Nature Kenya donated Sh8 million to KFS.

Safaricom Foundation has adopted 100 hectares in the South Marmanet Forest and planted 100,000 seedlings.

The Foundation has made a direct donation of Sh12 million. It plans to plant one million seedlings every year for five years.

In Kieni, the Foundation has adopted 50 hectares and planted 50,000 seedlings.

The Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes has adopted 80 hectares in Ndoinet Forest and planted 70,000 seedlings.

On January 22, 2020, the Ministry of Energy adopted 107 hectares of forest land in Kericho county, in an event presided over by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko.

The ministry is to adopt another 100 hectares in Nyeri.

Energy CS Charles Keter said they have since adopted forests in nine  counties.

"We have spent over Sh500 million because 40 per cent of the country's power is dependent on hydro which is also cheaper, clean, and efficient," he said.

In Kericho county, KFS manages 63,000 hectares of gazetted public forest.

Kamau urged farmers and private landowners to set aside at least 10 per cent of their land for tree and fruit tree growing.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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