The continuous exercise of tree growing by the County Government of Vihiga has hit the set target of 100,000 seedlings to be planted for reforestation of Maragoli Hills. This is according to Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo who led county residents today in a tree planting exercise held at the depleted Maragoli hills. The county boss who also doubles up as the Chairperson of the Environment and Climate Change committee at the Council of Governors urged residents to take a personal initiative of growing trees and protecting Maragoli hills.
“I have always been championing matters Environment Conservation way back even before I became the Governor of this county and as a result am very keen on seeing this exercise a success. Trees are a great asset to this County because many rivers emanate from the forest. Therefore let us all come together and support this program wholeheartedly. I am grateful to our partners who have supported us in various ways and I urge them to keep up with the spirit,” Averred the County Boss.
A total of 3,500 seedlings were planted today in the expansive 30-acre piece of land that hosts the hills in Vihiga Sub-county. This brings to about 100,000, the total number of seedlings grown in the hills by the County Government since the inception of the reclamation program of Maragoli hills.
County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Environment, Mary Amalemba encouraged the residents to be supportive in the exercise. â€œWe are even ready to buy seedlings from those of you who have nursery beds at home and are not using them. Furthermore, I request that the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) allows our mamas to grow beans within the same area so long as they do not interfere with the planted tree seedlings. This will go a long way in ensuring they also get a living from the rich Maragoli Hills,” Said Amalemba.
On his part, Chief Officer for Environment Dr. Richard Boiyo appreciated the support accorded by partners such as Equity Bank, County Forest Association (CFA), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) among others towards the reforestation program. For efficient administration of reclamation matters, Vihiga County Government through the Department of Environment has also constructed an office block at the heart of the hills.
In attendance were Chief Officer Gender, Youth, Culture and Sports Philip Gavuna, area Member of County Assembly (MCA)- Elisha Amara among other local leaders.