The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr. Chris Kiptoo, on Friday launched the Cherangany – Elgeyo Hills Ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation Intergrated Master Plan in Kaptagat Ecosystem.
Elgeyo-Cherangany Hills ecosystem traverses Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu Counties.
It covers an area of 414,928 ha which encompasses two Water Towers and 22 gazetted forest blocks.
The establishment of the ecosystem is geared towards conservation of Kaptagat forest block where 225 hectares of degraded areas within Sabor, Penon, Kaptagat, Kipkabus and Kessup forest blocks.
Speaking today during 5th edition of tree planting exercise in Kaptagat Ecosystem, PS noted that the master plan will go along way in rehabilitation of degraded ecosystem and provide framework in conservation of escapement, wetlands riparian lands and low lands.
“We want to ensure that we protect our environment, for it’s a source of livelihood for us all,” said Kiptoo.
Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich noted that seedling production has become a major expense in afforestation locally and that every effort should be made to produce quality affordable seedlings for guaranteed market.
“Investing in planting trees and improving our forests can help our residents meet the climate ambitions and give a much needed boost in the wider economy,” he said.
According to CEC Abraham Barsosio, Elgeyo Marakwet County is targeting 60% forest cover by 2030 from the current 37.49% to cushion counties with less than 5%.
“This year we are planning to plant over 10 million trees in conjunction with the ministry, KFS , KWTA, World Vision and other stakeholders during this long rain season,” said Barsosio
He added that the County Government to date, has trained and issued 12 million Tree seeds to 49 nursery groups across the county.
The event saw a huge participation of partners and leadership across Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties. During the occasion, more than 11,000 tree seedlings were planted by the partners and the community within one hour.