Kitui County seeks to increase forest cover

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has said her government will partner with Kitui Forest Research Institute, (KEFRI), and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to increase the county’s forest cover that has improved to 7% since the county clamped down on the production of charcoal which was causing environmental damage.

Speaking in a meeting that was attended by KEFRI Director Dr. Jane Njuguna and other officers from the institute, The Governor said her environmental conservation measures were successful due to the cooperation with the County Commissioner, the former Forest in charge John Njoroge, and the security team saying the county had developed alternative ways to sustain the residents’ livelihoods.

On her part, KEFRI Director Dr Njuguna said she was happy the county had realized progress in youth and women empowerment saying KEFRI will partner with the county to support honey production through increased planting of Melia volkensii {mukao} trees that have high yields of nectar basic in honey production. She noted that long-term impact of “mukau” trees will consequently realize adequate production of timber for domestic and market value.

Jane said they will have mass production of (Tamalindar Indica (Mikwaju), and vitex Payos (Muu) for Juice production in Endau, Mutitu, Athi, and some areas in Mwingi for foreign markets.

Dr Jane handed 2018-2022 strategic plan for her institute and said KEFRI is committed to plant more trees and engage in areas of environmental conservation, improve on the county’s ecosystem and focus on climate change.

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