93,000 seedlings to be planted in Lugari forest this year

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A section of tilled land in Lugari forest ready for tree planting
A section of tilled land in Lugari forest prepared for tree planting

The forest department has set aside over 93,000 tree seedlings to be planted in Lugari forest during the long rains season. Speaking to West Media, the officer in charge of the forest Mr. Koech Kebenei disclosed that exotic species such as cypress, pine and eucalyptus species will be planted on approximately 71 hectares of government land inside Lugari forest.

As a means of conserving and sustaining existing water sources, Mr. Kebenei said indigenous species will be planted on water catchments and swampy areas in the forest.

He said the planting exercise had been made easier through the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement System (PELIS) commonly known as ‘shamba system’ where residents living near the forest are allowed to cultivate forest land then forest officials provide trees seedlings for planting saying through the system he was optimistic that the
exercise will optimally succeed.

He thanked the government for the PELIS programme which he said had also enabled farmers to improve on crop production in the Sub County. Noting that Lugari had been identified as one of the pulp production zones by the forest department, Mr. Kebenei encouraged farmers from the area to venture into forest farming since the market for such was now guaranteed.

Mr. Kebenei assured area residents that his department is committed to sensitizing them on sound environmental policies and practices in order to improve on safe living surroundings.