Society / Environment
Friday, 19 May 2017 14:03 EATbmulu@kenyafreepress.com
Kitui County has won the national recognition award by the Kenya government for leading in the planting and conservation of trees. Making the announcement, the Kitui County Environment, Energy and Minerals Investment Development Minister, George Mutuku Mulatya, disclosed that Kitui’s current tree cover stands at 7.8 percent.
The minister also announced that the Kitui County Assembly had come up with the County Climate Change Fund in an effort of fighting the climate change in the area. He also announced that his ministry had been given Sh200 million by the African Development Bank (ADB) for the development of agriculture, water and irrigation ministry for environmental conservation.
Speaking during the launching of the Community Voluntary Development Network Association’s table banking programme at the Kitui Multi-Purpose Development Training Institute last Saturday, Mr Mulatya they work very closely with the agriculture and tourism ministries and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in the conservation matters in the county. The CVDNA and its members deal with environmental conservation and tree farming activities.
Mr Mulatya said the county government will de-silt all the about 200 colonial-era dams in Kitui County as part of tackling perennial water problems in the region. He said Governor Julius Malombe has plans to construct four sub-surface earth dams in each of the county’s 16 districts. The dams will be at Kitui, Mwingi Central, Kyuso, Mutomo, Ikutha, Mutitu, Mwingi West, Kitui West, Nzambani, Katulani, Matinyani, Mumoni, Lower Yatta, Mwingi East, Syeikulu and Kisasi.
And on his part, Paul Kamau Chaga, an official from the NEMA Kitui County Office, disclosed that they (the office) have a total of 22 registered sand harvesting groups in the county and are licenced by the office to do sand harvesting in the county. “We the NEMA need the registered and law abiding groups,” Chaga, who had represented the County NEMA Director Dr Diana Mobagi at the function said.
On the cleaning of the Kitui Town, Chaga requested Minister Mulatya to transfer the town’s dumping site to somewhere away from the Kalundu River vicinity. He said that NEMA will offer some technical advice regarding the dumping site’s transfer.
In his speech, the CVDNA Coordinator, Augustus Kilonzi Malli, said his organisation deals with environmental conservation and farming activities. “We are out to protect our county’s environment and natural resources,” the network leader said. “The trees are very important for us and the future generations. Let us plant and conserve the trees,” the conservation said.
“The success of the trees is not the planting alone. There is conservation,” he added. Malii announced that they (the network) are going to plant a total of 6 million tree seedlings at the county’s schools, towns, government offices, health institutions, markets, hills and dams during the coming October-December 2017 rains.
He announced that they had millions of tree seedlings at their seed nurseries. The community leader disclosed that currently their network has a total of 6,046 groups with 115,200 members, adding that the network works with registered and renewed groups in the county. He announced that the network had planted some 15,000 tree seedlings in Matinyani District, 300 in Kitui District, 1,100 in Katulani District, 850 in Nzambani District and 700 in Kitui West District.
Mr Malii asked the county government to fund them to have them to construct some sub-surface earth dams in the county. “We partner with the Kitui County government and the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya,” he said.
And he added that they had written to several organisations including the Friends of Conservation, Worldwide Fund for Nature, Safaricom Foundation, DT Dobie, Coca Cola Company, Firestone Company, Bamburi Cement Company and Born Free Foundation requesting them to partner with them in their conservation undertakings.
The CVDNA was founded in 2004 according to him. Addressing the function, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Kitui County Chairman, Duncan Kisilu Singi, asked the CVDNA members to do beekeeping “since bees go together with trees.” Singi said that the honey has a very high demand in the world. “The Kitui honey has been graded as the best one in the whole world,” the KNCCI official said.
Boniface is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Kitui County