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Saving Mau forest: 10 million trees to be planted

Friday October 4 2019

Maasai Mau Forest

Felled indigenous trees in the Maasai Mau Forest in Kipchoge, Narok County. The Mau forest is a source of crucial rivers, which feed Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BAYA SAMUEL
By BAYA SAMUEL
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About 10 million trees are set to be planted in the Maasai Mau forest in a bid to save the country’s largest endangered water tower that has lost its canopy on more than 14,000 hectares of land.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, who is chairing the steering committee on Mau forest rehabilitation, flew over the forest in Narok County to check on the progress before meeting Kenya Forest Service officers and locals.

Mr Natembeya, addressing locals at Enkoben trading centre, said tree planting exercise in phase one of the reforestation programme has started.

“We have 4,500 hectares in phase one whose rehabilitation has already started,” he said, adding that the Ewaso Ngiro South Development has a work plan for planting bamboo trees in the area.

The RC said rehabilitation would also target 9,500 hectares of land in phase two as the government seeks to ensure that the entire 14,000 hectares is available for restoration.

“This was an indigenous tree forest, so will use indigenous seedlings for the 10 million trees to be planted,” he said.

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Some of the seedlings will be sourced from private tree nurseries, the commissioner added, since the government may not have enough.