Kenya: The Chief Conservator of Forests, Julius Kamau, has today led the commissioning of Kenya Forest Service Rangers housing units at Nyangweta Forest Camp in Kisii County.
The facility, which comprises housing units, water collection points, an office, a tree nursery and other amenities to ensure the full functionality of an outpost, has been developed through the Green Zones Development Support Project Phase II (GZDSP-II) to bring Government services closer to the members of public living adjacent to Nyangweta Hill Forest.
During the commissioning, the CCF noted that the new facility (which is the first ranger unit built by KFS in Kisii and Nyamira Counties) will ensure that henceforth, forest rangers are permanently based in the forest block and thus greatly enhance the general security of the forest with collaboration with the adjacent forest community.
The CCF noted that the project (currently being implemented in 15 counties around three water towers of Mau, Mt Kenya and Aberdares) focuses on forest conservation, community livelihood and food security, all of which are critical in fulfilling the country’s quest of being climate change resilient.
“This six-year programme will help in the propagation of 60 million tree seedlings and support reforestation and afforestation of 36,000 Ha of degraded landscape both in government forests as well as community farmlands. Further, in partnership with Community Forest Association, the project will also protect an additional 311,000 Ha for natural regeneration,” noted the CCF.
In Kisii County, the project has been able to support tree seedlings production (150,000 seedlings in Kisii Central nursery), rehabilitation of degraded natural forests, protection for natural regeneration by fencing and deployment of community scouts in Saria and Ngeri forest hills, rehabilitation of riverine using bamboo in Gucha river, the establishment of fruit orchards in sub-counties, supporting IGA’s (beekeeping) and establishment of farmer forestry field schools.
Noting that the county has a tree cover of 26.6% and a forest cover of 15.06%, the CCF called on members of the public to support the government in its mission of reaching the country at a minimum of 30% tree cover by 2032.
While issuing tree nursery implements to members of the Nyangweta CFA, the CCF further encouraged the local community to engage in robust seedlings production to support the government greening drive noting the benefits it will bring through livelihood support and climate change resilience.
The CCF was joined by the Project Manager GZDSP-II, Mr Jerome Mwanzia, Nyanza Regional Forest Conservator, Mr Simon Wahome, Kisii County Forest Conservator, Mr Wellington Ndaka, and the MCA Mudicho Ward Ronald Ongaka, among others.