Locals Urged To Plant Area-Specific Trees

An environmental youth leader Mr. Jackson Njonjo has appealed local residents to plant area-specific trees during the forthcoming Easter Weekend so as to mitigate against the threats of climate change. Speaking today at Njoro town, he commended the locals for their efforts to grow trees every rainy season, but he bemoaned the habit of planting trees which might not be conducive for that particular climate. He added that the challenge of not planting area-specific trees was that different areas of the country and even the county itself have varying climatic conditions and soil, as a result, a tree that is fast-growing in one region may grow slowly in another. Giving an example of the pine and eucalyptus trees that are mainly grown for commercial purposes, Njonjo said much as they grow faster in Njoro sub-county due to the favorable climate, they are likely to take a longer time in Rongai sub-county since its semi-arid. However, the youth leader bemoaned the commercialization of tree planting, which has replaced indigenous hardwood trees because they take longer to mature compared to softwood. Njonjo appealed to the Forestry Department to guide Wananchi and make them understand the dangers of planting eucalyptus trees on their farms, instead of crops, simply because they sell faster. He noted with concern that the majority of the people who have planted eucalyptus trees were absent landlords who might not care much about their environmental effects, since they own farms in other areas or they live in cities. The environmentalist urged the youth and local farmers to plant indigenous trees, which bring many benefits to the ecosystem and biodiversity. Apart from that, he said the croton megalocarpus indigenous tree plays an important role in the county's ecosystems because it helps with soil conservation and provides shade and protection from wind. Njonjo commended the government for the ambitious plan of planting 15 billion trees by 2032.

Source: Kenya News Agency