5,000 trees of various species have been planted on the 5.2 hectares of land belonging to Midida primary and secondary schools to help boost the tree and forest cover in the county.

Speaking during the tree planting exercise at Midida Secondary and Primary schools in West Kanyamkago Ward- Uriri Sub County, Migori County Commissioner David Gitonga said that it was important to cultivate the culture of environmental conservation and management at a young age.

He said that there was a need to create environmental champions among school-going children to encourage them to the importance of growing and nurturing planted trees.

“If students understand the responsibilities of planting and nurturing trees our country will be transformed both environmentally and economically”, said Gitonga.

The official noted that it was important to ensure that the forest cover is increased through tree planting at ward levels to improve the current 0.3 per cent forest cover to the recommended 10 per cent.

He emphasised the need for partnership between the national and county governments in planting as well as preserving trees to protect environmental conservation.

Gitonga urged the county residents to plant at least 30 trees annually to reach the county-set target of 15 million trees annually.

Ripple Effect NGO Official Beatrice Were said that they will work closely with the school management to help establish 4K clubs and Young Farmers Club to ensure that planted trees are well managed and conversed.

She noted that through partnerships with other tree conservators, they will establish tree nurseries in schools to maintain tree planting sustainability as well as the tree planting culture.

“We want to establish tree nurseries at our educational institutions to encourage the school-going children to embrace the tree planting culture as well as influence the community to take up the mantle of conserving the environment”, noted Beatrice.

Migori County Director for Environment and Natural Resource Kennedy Ochieng acknowledged that the 2023-2023 Migori budget has factored in climate change funds to address the effects of climate change through programmes like greening programmes aimed at increasing forest cover.

 Ochieng however, called upon the support of the stakeholders and political goodwill in order to able to increase forest cover from 0.3 to 10 per cent.

He affirmed that for a long time, the mining and tobacco activities had undermined the forest cover in the county but said the county was on the right path in addressing environmental conservation.

Similarly, Midida Secondary School Principal Pius Oyugi explained that the 4K and Young Farmers Clubs will help to conserve the 5,000 planted trees to ensure that the community tree cover increases.

He urged the stakeholders both at national and county levels to incorporate education institutions in tree planting exercises to nurture young children the importance of tree conservation.

Oyugi also added introducing tree nurseries in schools will help the agricultural clubs to have first-hand practicals in terms of what is required to grow and conserve the environment.

The tree planting initiative was supported by Ripple Effect and Tree for the Future NGO, KEFRI and Migori County.

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