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Photo: Butula Sub County Administrator Caroline Oduor hands a tree to a Butula resident on Saturday.

Busia leaders pledge to improve forest and tree cover in the County

Busia leaders in a jig during the National tree planting day at Benga University on Saturday
Busia County Commissioner Michael Tialal plans a tree at Benga University on Saturday.

Busia leaders and the provincial administration have pledged to improve  the  County’s  forest and tree cover which currently stands at 1.01 per cent compared to  the national  figure of 2.89% and the global target  of 10%.

County Executive Committee Member  for  Water, Environment and Natural Resources  Dr Isaac Waluke  said   Busia County is ranked 44th out of 47 counties, ahead of  Kisumu, Siaya and Migori.

He said Sh9 million  approved by the County Assembly to go towards  tree planting was a drop in the ocean. ”  We are expecting a grant of  Sh120m from the European Union under  Kenya water  Towers  Protection Program.

It will go  towards planting of trees  and forests   in water catchment areas  and to promote bamboo  growth  which have  a lot of economic  value. Tooth pick , chairs roof ceiling  are made from bamboo,” he said.

County Commissioner Michael Tialal told county residents to  use at least 10 per cent  of  their land to plant  trees, adding that he  has planted  10,000 trees  and will plant more.

Tialal  said  tree cover  was  an important component  the  National Government’s  four agenda  of food security, manufacturing, health and  affordable houses.

Butula Member of parliament  Joseph oyula  said he has 12 acres  under forest   and urged his constituents to emulate him.   He pledged  20,000  seedlings  for  his constituents.

Oyula said a bill is on the way  to ensure each  learning institution  in the country  plants trees  as it strives  to achieve the global target of 10%.

A member of the Environment  and Natural resources  committee Nancy Okademi  said the committee has approved a budget Sh2m to fight  the yellow wild weed  (Kusukuta) and Sh5m  for bamboo protection.

Acting  Chief Officer   Water, Environment and natural resources   Moses  Weunda  said the County Government is determined to raise the  tree cover  in the next few years.

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