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KEFRI Director Dr. Joshua Cheboiwo on 30th October, officiated a tree planting activity for the short rain season, at Hon. Francis Nyamu Kangwima’s (FNK) Foundation in Tunyai, Tharaka Nithi County.
The Foundation which promotes youth education and conservation of environment in Tunyai sub-county, Tharaka Nithi County led the tree planting of 200 seedlings and impromptu funding to purchase 30,000 for the groups to plant on their farms. The target species included: Tarminalia catapa, Grevillea robusta, Gmelina arborea, Croton megalocarpus, Azandritchta indica, Casuarina equisitifolia, Mangifera indica, Senna siamea, Thevetia peruviana, Acacia mellifera, Ficus sycomorus, Trichilia rocha, Delonix regia, Markhamia lutea, Moringa oleifera, Tamrmarindus indica, Balanites aegyptica among others. Species of commercial importance in the area include Doum palm, Melia volkensii and Tarminalia brownii.
The occasion was graced by the foundations patron Hon. Francis Nyamu Kangwima who is incumbent Deputy County Governor together with USA and Morocco Ambassadors, National Administration; United Nations Education and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), NGOS; Farmers; FBOs and Schools, the international small group and planting program, Kenya organization for Environmental Education and other leaders from Tharaka-Nithi County.
The various speakers emphasized on importance of conserving the environment, planting of trees and impact on sustainably managing our resources for improved livelihoods.
The community face challenges that include high incidences of poverty, deforestation and degradation mainly attributed to rampant large scale charcoal production, and destructive use of natural resources, pausing a threat to the environment.
During the launch, farmers were encouraged to invest in fish farming, and growing of fruit trees (mango, avocado, passion, etc.) as an alternative strategy towards improving livelihood, and sustainable approaches in the conservation of the environment and achieving 10% tree cover.
The Deputy County Commissioner for Garissa Mr Bernard Ole Kipuri who was the Chief Guest launched the short rains tree planting campaign where 600 seedlings were planted at KEFRI centre. “This year's theme ‘10% Tree Cover, Wajibu Wetu’ indicates it’s our collective responsibility as a community to achieve the 10 percent tree cover target by 2022,” said Ole Kipuri. The delegate planted indigenous species in addition to 4000 others planted earlier by KDF and 200 by Garissa University. The stakeholders present included the Environment, Garissa County; KDF Modika Barracks; Garissa University, Million Seedlings; teams from KFS, KALRO, WFP, Kenya Red Cross, UNICEF, UNHCR, Northern Water Service Board, National Drought Management Authority and members of the public. KEFRI was represented by the National Forest Products Research Programme Director Ms. Nellie Oduor, Drylands Eco Regional Research Programme Director Dr Albert Luvanda, and the hosts led by ARD-Garissa Mr. Elyas Hassan, Ms. Amina Aden and other members of staff.