Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) has been involved in environmental catchment conservation activities, raising of tree nurseries within its area of jurisdiction and planting of tree seedlings in selected zones.
With the roll out of the new conservation concept, “the Adopt-a-Forest Initiative”, the Authority along with other key stakeholders, are working towards the achievement and maintenance of 10% forest cover nationally. In line with the guidelines from the UN Paris climate change goal, KVDA has rolled out activities under the Adopt-a-Forest Initiative and Greening of Schools and other institutions of learning in the Cherangany water catchment.
A total of 140,400 assorted Fruit (grafted mango and avocado) and tree seedlings have been planted and distributed to the community by the Authority within the month of May, 2022 in Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot Counties . The exercise kicked off at primary schools: Kipsaos, Simotwo, Tulwet, Kapkitony Mixed day, Kapsergon , Kombatich and Kipsaos Secondary school in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
The team was led by Board Chairman, Mr. Mark Chesergon, Managing Director, Mr. Sammy Naporos, Management and staff of KVDA, area nominated MCA Hon. Lawi Kibire, area chief, Head teachers of the various schools and the community.
In West Pokot County, KVDA organized a tree planting exercise at Nateleng, Todum primary schools and Todum secondary School with an aim to increase tree coverage within the County to enhance food security, conserve the indigenous forests that are at the verge of extinction and mitigate climate change.
In attendance also were other stakeholders led by Ward Administrator Mr Rotich, NEMA officials, Forest Service Officers, Area chief, Head teachers of the various schools and the community at large. While speaking at Nateleng Primary, the Managing Director Mr. Sammy Naporos encouraged the residents to practice Agroforestry and plant fruit seedlings so as to enhance food security. He further, advised students and the community to take care of the planted seedlings for good learning environment thus good performance.
KVDA Chairman in his speech thanked all those present in the Tree planting exercise and said, “it is KVDA’s Mandate to undertake river basin conservation and management to develop resources along the Kerio River basin in the counties of Samburu, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot”. He challenged residents to plant more trees to surpass the Governments’ target of at least 10% tree cover of the land area of Kenya .He reiterated that West Pokot is estimated to be at 8% an improvement from the previous 4% tree cover.
Conservation and sustainable development of forest ecosystem and their associated resources are essential for poverty reduction, therefore, KVDA focuses not only on assorted tree seedling but also agroforestry seedling for food security and economic empowerment of the community. The project objectives are : to provide better support to the economic pillar flagship projects on energy and food security, assist in increasing forest cover, provide better land use management and improved natural resource.
These strategies, which are aligned to the National Forest Program, are a cross-sectional framework that provides for a shared responsibility towards addressing climate change impacts and public concerns with regard to protection, conservation and sustainable management of forest resources. The strategy on greening of schools will leverage on the students to enhance the tree cover through; establishment of woodlots and boundary planning, creation of environmental awareness and planting and adoption of at least two trees by the students.