Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) in partnership with Kenya Forest Services (KFS) and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) has started an initiative with the local community from Kwa Jomvu area in Mombasa County in an organised mangrove tree planting exercise.
Speaking during the exercise, County Forest Conservator Jennifer Situma said that there were 3,771 hectares of mangroves which is gazetted forest area in Mombasa County.
Situma said their mandate was to work at the mangrove sites and the forests in Mombasa, they have now collaborated with stakeholders and the community in participatory forest management.
She noted that they have also partnered with other stakeholders through adoption of sites where KPC has adopted 100 hectares.
“The planting of mangrove started last year where a total of 106,000 mangroves were planted and we are targeting another 100,000 mangroves to be planted this year,” said Situma.
She added that in conservation and management, KFS has to protect and conserve the forest and that was why they were relying on KDF and the Ministry of Interior.
Situma pointed out that the area targeted for planting of the mangroves is degraded. “We are happy that since the realization that we need to restore the mangroves, there has been concerted efforts by various stakeholders where we are being assisted,” she added.
The conservator noted that destruction of the mangroves comes where fuel, wood, charcoal and making of dough is done.
She said the corals and the sea grass rely on the mangrove ecosystem thus making it very important. “It is very critical in revamping the blue economy as it is a breeding ground for fish. As it gets degraded, the livelihoods of the people are also affected. Mangroves are also good for stemming climate change as they hold a significant deposit of carbon,” she said.
Foundation Manager KPC Banis Lemedeket said that the programme is a call for action whereby all other partners should come forward to restore the mangrove forest.
“This is a very important activity that the whole country should rally support to this initiative. The tree is important in the world and that is why we are aligning with the presidential directive to plant at least 100,000 trees per year and we are calling everybody to take part in conserving the forest,” said Lemedeket.