Home NEWS Local News Act now or suffer climate consequences-Prime CS Mudavadi

Act now or suffer climate consequences-Prime CS Mudavadi

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi

The Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has said the state will not relent on actions to mitigate against the harsh consequences of climate change.

In his speech read by Health CS Susan Nakhumicha the PCS regretted that the country was facing the severest drought in 40 years due to failure to act, saying the best way to mitigate against the consequences was greening.

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“We have set a target of planting 15 billion trees to achieve a 30 per cent tree cover by 2032. This ambitious target translates to 1.5 billion trees every year. It is doable; to wade-off encroachment of Climate Change. It is no accident that the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry was created,” said the PCS at Kakamega Forest where 29,000 trees were planted.

“I had looked forward to personally participating in this exercise but National duty has taken me to Angola to represent Kenya in talks to restore peace in Eastern DRC.”

He said though the country appeared to have met the constitutional 10 per cent forest cover, his hunch was we should do better than that.

Mudavadi likened that to moving two steps forward and one step backwards because the effort at increasing forest cover was frustrated by persistent environmental destruction of trees for charcoal burning, and instances of unlawful Shamba System.

He said the greening was a two-pronged approach which involved tree cover where ordinary wananchi are involved and forest cover which largely involved the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and other state organs.

“The Kenya Forest Services (KFS) tells us that the 10 per cent was achieved after planting over 1.8 billion trees in a span of 3 years (2019-2022). Moreover, a total of 48 billion Kenyan shillings was needed for this noble cause,” he said.

The PCS said the tree cover stood at 12.13 per cent out of the target of 30 per cent by 2032.

He said under tree cover, every Kenyan is encouraged to plant trees wherever they are in Kenya.

“This is why I recently called on the 57,212,380 million Kenyans (as at May 2023) to plant a tree on Madaraka Day. If they have heeded my call, we should by yesterday have added about 60 million trees towards the 15 billion target,” he said.

He said to ensure the culture of tree planting was institutionalized his office adopted 10 acres at Egerton University in Nakuru County and planted 5,000 trees on five acres in only one day.

He lauded the Kakamega Forest Heritage Foundation for spearheading reforestation of the unique forest.

The PCS at the same time challenged the locals who participated in the exercise that they should not just plant but ensure the seedlings they plant grew matured.

“Tree and forest cover are being countermanded by incidences of community insensibility to impacts of Climate Change. This calls for persistent community sensitization and mobilization to the next level – Tree Growing” he said.

Adding: ” It is not enough to plant trees. Tree Growing is critical in meeting the cover targets. You must look after planted seedlings to grow into mature trees.  This is the essence of Tree and Forest Cover, and not just the seedlings planting exercises.”

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