By Orenge Wycliff
Climate change has been one of the greatest threats to planet Earth. Yes! With climate change, the world is edging closer to a complete overhaul. It has been said that the greatest contributor to climate change is nothing less than an acute drop in vegetation cover. Actually, it is more clear to say that deforestation is the greatest threat to the universe and accelerates global warming.
With the rapid population growth in the world, the space for settlement has greatly reduced and thus the people have opted to encroach into forests and cutting down of trees. It is understood that every year, more than 20 million trees are cut without replacement. This Poses a great threat to the world’s tree cover and risks the chances of global warming to take cause any time soon.
It is important to note that trees perform a very critical role in the universe. With the fast rising cases of environmental pollution that results into the release of a greater percentage of Carbon emissions to the atmosphere. The trees perform a role of reducing the amount of carbon accumulation in the atmosphere through the intake in the process of photosynthesis. In return, the trees produce oxygen that equally serves a greater role to all other living organisms.
It is this posed threat of carbon accumulation as a result of human activities and industrial emissions that has called for the attention of the universe to wake up and combat this almost sorry state by an accelerated campaign to plant more trees in the next 10 years.
Dr. William Samoei Ruto, the president of Kenya after ascending to power came up with a plan of restoring the forest cover by 30% in the next 10 years. That led to the drive for planting of trees across the country and already, more than 20 million trees have been planted in the country with the help of various stakeholders like the Kenya Forest service(KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS), National Environmental conservation Management Authority (NEMA) and other public and private institutions like schools, Community based organizations and Non Governmental Organizations (NGos).
In Kisii county, the tree cover is not that badly off but still there needs to be more efforts to up the game and plant more trees in the region. Yes there is only one forest in the region called Nyangweta Forest. a forest that has faced extinction as a result of human activities and scarcity of land which has almost prompted to human encroachment into the forest but thanks to the great efforts by the government of Kenya through the Kenya Forests service police whom have ensured that there is no further damage inflicted into the forest.
As a matter of ensuring that more trees are planted in the region, the acting chief Conservator of forests in the country Mr. Alex Lemarkoko led the launch of 10 30% strategic plan for tree cover in Kenya at the Nyangweta forest in an event organized by the former County women Member of Parliament aspirant Hon. Vicky Onderi.
While addressing the members of the general public, Mr Lemarkoko urged the county government to fully take the devolved functions and encourage their own foresters to plant more trees. “I thank you for being the champions of conservation, Keep doing it and add up so that Kisii county will top the chart…”
He also urged the county government of Kisii to have their own foresters and take up their 21 devolved functions. “In fact have your own foresters, we are training foresters for you, have your own foresters, so that you can be on the forefront in elevating the tree cover in your county.”
The acting chief Conservator of forests commended the efforts of the people of Kisii for maintaining their tree cover and asked them to plant more fruit baring trees.
“You the people of Kisii cannot be blamed for cutting down of trees. Because you are ahead in planting trees, I came on an Helicopter and I could hardly see houses because of a considerable number of trees covering the region. We say thank you, your forest is intact. If you go to other regions, they have destroyed their forests but yours is intact. Clap for yourselves…”
He continued to say that Kisii is advantaged for having a fertile land that supports the growth of all sorts of trees and urged them to produce more fruit baring trees because the can supply them to other counties.
“Produce more fruit baring trees because you can supply them to other counties.”