MeForest Initiative has partnered with Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka in a bid to increase forest cover in the ASAL regions, by planting a million trees in every county.
Meforest is a youth initiative aimed at coordinating the production of seedlings for the afforestation and re-afforestation of the Kenyan landscape, at the same time creating income for jobless youths and women.
In a statement to newsrooms, the organisation says that it will first focus on Machakos county then spread wings to other parts of the country that are adversely affected by deforestation.
“Meforest Initiative in its initial program in collaboration with the Office of the Machakos Senator in a bid to empower the youth and women by enabling them earn an income through the planting of trees,” reads a statement from Meforest.
“Meforest Initiatives has committed to increase the tree cover in Machakos County as a way of transforming and mitigating the effects of deforestation and supporting the ASAL counties Kenya has one of the highest rates of deforestation in Africa.”
This comes as the government fights to clear encroachers off Mau forest, in which more than 100,000 hectares have been cleared over the past 15 years. This has resulted to a prolonged national drought thus resulting to dry rivers that originate from the country’s largest water tower.
“We are not just emphasising tree planting, but tree growing through ways that generate incomes for the community. The long-term stewardship and husbandry of trees should be seen as creating viable assets for farmers and communities. We see sustainable tree growing as having a significant impact on both poverty alleviation and the environment,” adds the statement.
In their national programmes, and in partnership with various counties, the initiative will source seedlings and expertise from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya Forest Service. The nurseries will be operated by local youth and women entrepreneurs in the country.
In addition to tree planting activities, conservation measures will be encouraged, especially at schools.
“In this initiative schools will also benefit as they play a crucial role in the tree nursery set up as the children will inculcate a green culture thus propagating green generations,” concludes the statement.
Other partners in the initiative include the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL, Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI).
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