By KAHONZI KALIWA
Corona pandemic and low rainfall hindered plans by Kenya Forest services to plant over 7milion tree seedlings this year, Kwale county conservator George Wara has revealed.
Mr. Wara says the exercise targeted 10 percent of forest cover in the region.
Speaking on Tuesday during a tree planting exercise in Kwale County Wara said trees play a fundamental role both to human beings and wildlife.
“Forest is life. Let us not practice deforestation but instead embrace reforestation , I understand people should harvest firewood and building materials like timbers but let us do it as directed by forest officers ,” Said he.
The event was also graced by Permanent Secretary incharge of the Ministry of Tourism and wildlife Safina Kwekwe Tsungu.
The conservator adds that a total of 2.5 million seedlings have been planted in parts in the region including 3000 seedlings planted in Mutsangatamu.
“Our plans as a department was to plant about 6million seedlings in farms. We are unable to do the same due to the Coronavirus this year and little rainfall.
At the same time, the conservator urged government to ensure that tourism sector is revived for the benefit of Kwale residents.
On her part Tourism PS Safina Kwekwe said government plans are underway to revive the tourism sector in the region.
“We understand more than 30 percent of Kenyans who depend on the sector have been rendered jobless. This is due to the closure of tourists hotels across the country,” she noted
Her sentiments were echoed by Kwale county security boss Karuku Ngumo who urged the residents to conserve forests.
“I understand there is human-wildlife. We however must protect our animals because they are our resources. Tourists will only come to this reserve to see different species of animals if you stop illegal hunting,’ he warned.
The county commissioner warned residents against cutting down trees and charcoal burning.
The exercise is supported by Base Titanium, Komaza, Kutoka Ardhini Organizations and Wild Wide Fund among other organizations.