Some 19,000 trees were planted in Kiambu County on Monday, in an exercise presided over by Hon. Zachariah Njeru, the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Water, Sanitation and irrigation.
The tree planting exercise at Nyamweru area of Lari was part of the National drive coordinated by chiefs’ country wide.
CS Njeru together with Water Resources Authority (WRA) teamed up with the Kiambu County Government and the local community to plant trees.
“We shall plant trees and most of us will leave this place and we shall hand over the whole projects of nearly 20,000 young trees at the hands of this community.” Njeru said.
CS Njeru, added that the 15 billion trees envisioned by the government is practical if we would all plant tree in bid to reverse the adverse effects of global warming that has been occasioned by wanton destruction of our environment
“We have suffered immensely because of the people who have destroyed trees and we have gained immensely because of people like the late Wangari Maathai who conserved the environment, natured it ruthlessly and it is kind if we conserve it,” Njeru said.
WRA chief Executive Officer Mohamed Shurie said that the Authority is undertaking a National Tree Growing initiative in all its 34 stations.
He said that so far, WRA has planted in excess of 250,000 trees since the president’s call to plant trees across the country.
“We have planted 250,000 trees in all our Basins and Sub-Basins. This year we plan to in collaboration with stakeholders to plant at least 100,000 trees across the basin areas. Our main focus is on the water resources friendly and indigenous trees including Bamboo, Palm trees, Fruit trees, Mangroves, among others,” Shurie said.
He however cautioned over the adverse effects some species like Eucalyptus have had on water resources.
“We urge all to cease from planting such exotic species in the vicinity of water resources. A rich catchment not only guarantees good quality water but also in great quantities. Moreover, water comes from the catchment not the tap,” he said.
Shurie noted that Lari and Kinale forests are a critical water towers that give water to residents of Nairobi and as such it should be given a keen eye,” Shurie said.
He urged the local community to grow and nurture the trees and also cautioned those who encroach on protected areas.
“The effects of global warming have reached a catastrophic level and we have seen the effects. Therefore, we are the same people best placed to undo the effects by taking part in conservation and tree planting. We shall do all we can to attain the governments dream of reversing the global warming effect,” Shurie said.
Donald Murgor, WRA chairman said that as regulators in the management and use of water resources, they are mandated under Section 23 of the Water Act 2016 to declare an area deserving special water conservation measures as a Protected Water Conservation Area for ground or surface water.
“In this case the Authority can impose such requirements or prohibit such conduct or activities as it may consider necessary for the conservation of surface or groundwater. Majority of the protected areas act as recharge areas for water resources. Protection of these recharge areas enhances the quantity and quality of water,” said Murgor.