Tobiko: Uproot eucalyptus in riparian areas
Roy Lumbe @lumbe_roy
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called for the removal of eucalyptus and cyprus trees from riparian and water catchment areas as one way of conserving the environment.
Tobiko said despite the ministry’s efforts to achieve more forest cover, the two species have been consuming a lot of water, subjecting some areas to acute water shortage, adding that residents should plant water-friendly trees.
Speaking at Enapuiyapui swamp in Marioshoni, Eastern Mau, in Nakuru county during the World Wetlands Day celebrations, the CS noted that one eucalyptus tree consumes up to 100 litres of water daily.
“The environment ministry in partnership with Kenya Forest Service will ensure the two species are removed and replaced with water-friendly trees such as the bamboo, which has a lot of benefits especially in furniture-making,” said Tobiko.
“Planting of exotic trees in riparian areas is not allowed. You either plant indigenous trees or fruits,” he added.
He noted there was a lot of deforestation on Eastern Mau, and called on residents to plant more trees in the water catchment area. He added that there is plan to map and cordon off wetland areas.
“Wetlands must be gazetted and placed under protected areas so as to conserve the ecosystem which depends on the water. Enapuiyapui is an international wetland that serves both Kenya and Tanzania,” he said.
Acting Nema director general Mamo B Mamo said wetlands were dwindling fast, adding that the agency has conducted public participation to ensure such are maintained.
Lake Victoria Basin Commission executive secretary Dr Ali Said Matano said they are willing to work with the Environment ministry to conserve the Enapuiyapui wetland.