The National government intends to plant at least 2 billion trees to achieve the 10 percent forest cover by 2022, from the current 7.2 percent.
Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo said the government has put up several measures aimed at ensuring the goal is achieved.
“Our strategy is to have seeds and then seedlings if we have to plant the two billion trees by 2022 for us to achieve the 10 percent tree cover,” said the PS.
He said the government has approved the expansion of the Kenya Forest Institute (KEFRI) from the current six centres to 16 as part of the efforts to attain the globally recommended tree cover.
Speaking while on a visit to the proposed Eldoret arboretum, Kiptoo said KFS will sign an agreement with the county government of Uasin Gishu to ensure the plan to set up a modern arboretum in the outskirts of Eldoret town succeeds
.“We want to have footpaths, benches, and modern toilets at this place so that it meets the international standards,” he said.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said his administration is committed to working with the National government in helping the country attain the anticipated forest cover.
“We will set up committees in every ward, Sub County and villages to spearhead afforestation efforts so that we increase the forest cover,” Mandago assured.
Mandago at the same time revealed plans by his government to request the winding up of Central primary and secondary schools that are within the town central business district to create space for a public park.
“We have GK Magereza primary and secondary, Uasin Gishu, Kapsoya, Sosiani, Umoja, and several other schools around the town where the affected learners could be accommodated. We don’t need to have a school in the middle of the CBD,” Mandago said.
Environment CECM Mary Njogu who was also present said collaboration between the county and KFS has seen over 15 million trees planted in Uasin Gishu in the past one year.