Local Community Forest Association in Mbeere North is targeting to plant over 5 million tree seedlings during the current short rain season.
The association targets Kiangombe and Kianjiru forests with over 50,000 acres which are indigenous forests under the county government of Embu.
While signing a forest management agreement with the local Forest Association, CEC in charge of Lands Mr. Josphat Kithumbu said the county government, the Kenya Forest Service and JICA have entered into a partnership for reforesting the two forests through establishing a participatory forest management plan.
Kithumbu said the agreement entails what the partners in the project would be doing to ensure the reforestation is successful.
“The purpose of re-establishing the forests is to contribute to the attainment of 10 percent forest cover by 2022 and also provide a livelihood for the local community where they will be doing bee farming by establishing beehives in the two forests,” the CEC noted.
He also said the kind of trees the community would establish in the forest would be beneficial to them especially the Mukau variety.
Deputy Chief Conservator of Forest, KFS, Ms. Charity Munyasia said KFS is concerned with national forests, while CFAs sign a forest management agreement with Chief Conservator of Forests. However, for the two forests under Embu county government, the CFA has entered into forest management agreement with the county government while KFS would oversee the agreement and give technical advice.
She stated that KFS together with county government would provide the 5 million seedlings and ensure were planted in the two forests by the end of this year.
Ms. Munyasia appreciated the local community for not encroaching into the forests hence no one would be evicted though she noted that initially, human activities were being carried out in the forests which stopped after talks with the community.
CFA Chairman Njiru Ndugire said their association would be guarding the forest adding that through JICA support, they have managed to bring to an end the human activities which were being carried in the forests such as charcoal burning.