November 13, 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)
The Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizens Services, Prof. (Amb.) Julius Bitok led celebrations to mark the National Tree Planting Day at Ekaales Centre in Lodwar, today.
The PS rallied support for the national tree planting campaign launched by President William Ruto in Makindu, Makueni County, which aims to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.
“We have planted more than 2000 trees today in Turkana. Our target for Turkana this year is to plant 119 million trees, this season is 6.7 million trees and Turkana is supposed to plant more than 1.1 billion trees in 15 years,” he said.
He asked residents to plant trees and ensure 30 percent tree coverage on their land. The PS announced that he had brought 10,000 tree seedlings from the Ministry of Interior to be planted in schools and other public institutions.
Speaking at the event, Governor Lomorukai announced that the County Government had set a target to plant and nurture 320 million trees by 2032 as part of its Ecosystem Restoration plan.
“Eight tree seedling distribution centers have been established across the county to comply with a presidential directive, contributing to our goal of achieving a 30% tree cover,” he said.
Governor Lomorukai highlighted the importance of community involvement in this plan, citing the registration of 21 Community Forest Associations (CFAs) and the recruitment of technical officers and rangers to oversee conservation efforts.
The Governor also outlined the county’s commitment to climate action, citing the enactment of the Turkana County Climate Change Act, 2021.
The PS said he was pleased with Governor Lomorukai’s commitment to the agenda, and urged that it should be a responsibility for everyone, including households, schools, and churches.
He revealed that he held engagements with Turkana leaders over various issues affecting the county. He stated that plans for the mass registration program, which aims to issue 100,000 ID cards for Kenyans in Turkana, were underway.
PS Bitok stated that the government’s commitment to ensure resources for refugee support also benefited the host community.
Shipping and Maritime Affairs Permanent Secretary Geoffrey Kaituko assured residents that the Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs, Salim Mvurya, would visit Turkana with other stakeholders as the ministry plans programs to grow the potential of Lake Turkana for the benefit of the fisherfolk.
Turkana Central MP Emathe Namuar proposed the formation of a national authority to spearhead climate change initiatives in the frontier counties. He promised to lead a tree-planting drive in the constituency and asked residents to embrace the initiative.
County Commissioner Jacob Ouma said they would work with the County Government in the implementation of the greening agenda to combat the shocks of climate change.
MCAs present included James Ikeny Kanamkemer), Patrick Napion (Kaeris), Lawrence Lopayo (Lokiriama/Lorengippi), (Ekaale Aemun (Kaputir) and Patrick Esekon (nominated).
Senior county officials present included County Executives Elizabeth Loote (Tourism Culture, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources), Iris Mariao (Health), James Wangiros (Public Service), David Erukudi (Trade), Leah Audan (Education), Peter Akono (Lands).