By Linah Musangi
A group of youths from Mwingi in Kitui County have launched a tree planting initiative aimed at replacing all trees which had been cut down by charcoal burners. This follows the measures which have been put in place by the county government of Kitui banning all charcoal burning and transportation in the county.
Speaking at Mwingi School for children with special needs during the launch of the tree planting exercise, Peter Muyaui who is the chairman of the group named Mwingi Youths for Development Forum, the group is planning to plant more than a million trees within Kitui County by end of this year starting from this rainy season.
Mr Muyaui said that the groups of youths from across Mwingi are targeting to plant trees in all local hills and in forests where destruction of trees has occurred in order to mitigate the effects of illegal charcoal business and improve the ecosystem.
The group is now calling upon the county government of Kitui to support their initiative by providing more seedlings and ensuring that there is enough water in schools and other areas where they are aiming to plant trees in order to ensure that there is water to enable the seedlings thrive.
Peter Mutemi, an officer who was representing the county government in the tree planting exercise spearheaded by the group yesterday said that the county government of Kitui has already set aside Ksh. 26 million to facilitate tree planting this financial year and that they will support the initiative by the group in order to increase forest cover in Kitui.
Mr Mutemi said that the county government of Kitui is determined in protecting the environment and it will be engaging those people who relied in charcoal business to earn a living and engage them in tree planting exercises for a token.