Kitui Governor Julius Malombe with Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Okaniwa Ken.

Japan is working in conjunction with 20 County governments in the country on environmental matters aimed at improving climate in the counties.

Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Okaniwa Ken, while speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Kitui Governor Dr. Julius Malombe in his office in Kitui town disclosed that Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will work with the county government in mitigating climate change effects.

The two discussed many issues, among them being areas of cooperation in matters climate change and environmental conservation through research on new drought – tolerant tree species.

The Ambassador said that the Japanese government through JICA had supported reforestation initiatives in Kitui and was ready to continue the same activities.

According to Okaniwa, the support was through the development of drought – resilient tree varieties in conjunction with Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI).

“We are keen to introduce new and improved varieties of trees which are more resilient to the drier climate such as the melia volkesii which can be used for timber production besides improving the country’s tree cover,” stated the ambassador.

The Ambassador further said that Kitui was among some 20 counties which JICA plans to engage in adoption of the new approach in order to support farmers in making the right decisions regarding choice of best suited tree species, besides sourcing for market for tree products.

Governor Malombe lauded JICA for their continued support in climate change adaptation efforts in Kitui County and beyond.

“My administration is committed to upscale tree planting in every corner of this county in order to enhance Kitui’s forest cover thereby mitigating the adverse climate change effects which have over the years threatened water and food security,” he said.

The governor welcomed JICA’s support towards success of his environment conservation plan.

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