Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has mandated all 117 devolved village units in the county to have tree nurseries.
The Governor said the nurseries should have of at least 10,000 seedlings each to enable residents get seedlings with ease.
Ojaamong spoke while addressing officers from the Kenya Forest Service in Busia, Western Region and the head office who paid him a courtesy call.
He said said it was part of his government’s concerted efforts to have the county achieve the 10 per cent forest cover by 2022.
Busia Forest Cover currently stands at 1.01%, a feat that the KFS and the Governor agreed to a partnership to ensure the target was achieved; the country’s forest cover stands at 7.2%.
“The challenge we have is ownership of land that is making afforestation not appealing to the owners, thus leading to degraded hilltops; we are changing this notion by introducing the planting of avocado and other indigenous fruits through partnership with Kenya Climate Smart,” he said.
The Governor said there is need to undertake greening of towns.
He said Compounds in towns including residential houses should be planted with tap trees that cannot destroy houses.
“We need to pick an example of India where every space has a tree.
Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi said excess use of firewood as a source of energy that currently stands at 90% has impacted negatively on sustenance of forest cover.
“We need to encourage the growth of fruit trees where there is no enough land; but also encourage forest cover especially on hilltops where there has been considerable depletion of trees,” he said, and called on county residents to take advantage of the short rains to plant more trees.
Over 30,000 trees have been planted in Busia County so far, including 3000 at the Bumala “B” Dam Catchment area in Marachi East Ward on Friday.
Head of Conservator Western Jimmy Okuto said they are introducing adopt a forest program to enable the County Government or any organization takes a portion of the depleted Port Victoria and other forests and plant trees.
Chief Officer for Water, Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources Moses Weunda said they are coming up with County Forest Bill.
He added that they will also come up with Forest Policy and Forest regulations aimed at promoting conservation efforts and to embrace tree planting for sustainable development.