Home NEWS County News Kaya Elders blame youth for massive destruction of trees in Coast region

Kaya Elders blame youth for massive destruction of trees in Coast region

Mijikenda Kaya Elders have blamed the youth in the Coastal region for the continuous destruction of trees that has negatively impacted the environment.

The elders said while they have been at the forefront of protecting trees, the youth who are energetic have been massively destroying tees to produce charcoal and timber which has led to serious degradation and disasters such as drought and floods.

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Currently, the elders who are on a mission to plant 1 million trees in the region both indigenous and fruit trees said the youth have now embarked on cutting down coconut and cashew nut trees which are largely found in the region a move they say is a threat to the environment.

Speaking during a public Baraza at Gotani village in Kaya Fungo location organized by the area Chief Boniface Kalama and the Mijikenda Kaya Elders Association, Patron Naomi Cidi said their mission is to not only plant trees but sensitize the public on the importance of protecting them.

Mwinyi Mwalimu, the Chairman of Mijikenda Kaya Elders Association said it was unfortunate that trees were being wiped out despite the fact that they play a major role in attracting rain and producing food and medicine.

“Coconut trees are slowly getting finished, they are being destroyed at a very alarming rate, the coconut tree has a lot of benefits from the leaves to the roots, but we no longer plant them, cashew nuts are being destroyed,” he said.

He said having trees such as cashew nuts, coconuts and mangoes play a key role in addressing famine but with the rate at which they were being destroyed, more disasters will strike if action is not taken.

Mwalimu said they have been to five sub-counties so far in their tree planting program and intend to go all the Coastal counties after Kilifi.

Hamisi Mwaviko, a Kaya Elder from Kwale also said the destruction of coastal indigenous trees such as coconuts, cashewnuts and forest trees should end.

He said the youths were contributing a lot to the destruction as they have the energy to destroy but contribute negatively to the environment.

“Our aim is to plant 10,000 trees in every sub-county, if we finish these sub-counties, we will go to Kwale where there are four sub-counties which shall also be planted with trees”.

Mwaviko said he witnessed many youths carrying over 10 sacks of charcoal on bodaboda which is a major threat to the forest cover in the areas where they come from.

He appealed to the elders and the youths present at the baraza to be ambassadors and spread the message to the masses so as to help end the destruction of trees.

On her part, Cidi who is the Patron of the Kaya Elders said they are happy with the process of the program and thanked presidential Advisor Karisa Nzai for supporting them in their quest.

She urged the Coastal region to support President William Ruto and thanked him for offering many opportunities to Coastal leaders in his administration.

Nguma Chengo, a youth leader from Coast said tree cover has drastically reduced in Kilifi because of the destruction and urged residents to plant more trees.

He said there has been massive destruction for charcoal due to hunger but asked them to change the narrative and plant more trees.

“I urge my fellow youth to be in the forefront in planting trees because even those who are cutting trees because they have energy are the youth.”

Kaya Fungo location Chief Boniface Kalama who was the host said tree planting is in their performance contract and thanked the Kaya elders for finding time to engage them in the program.

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