Kenya ponders plan to compel land owners to plant trees

In an attempt to stem severe deforestation, Kenya wants to enact bylaws to compel land owners with more than 1 acre to plant at least 100 indigenous tree seedlings.

Other measures being considered in the renewed push to address forest destruction, included the use of prisoners to plant trees.

“Those who fail to plant the set number of tress should be fined heavily. Such land owners should also be barred from benefiting from county’s services such as clean piped water provision, health services or the bursary kitty,” David Ole Sankok, a nominated member of parliament told local media.

Sankok said the country should not waste any human resources in its renewed effort to increase dwindling forest cover to at least 10%.

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“Instead of condemning prisoners to idle in some of the prisons where there is little to do, the government should utilise the inmates to plant trees beginning with the correctional facilities themselves some of which own huge tracts of land,” said Sankok.

According to Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney, Kenya had at least 1 million acres, which urgently requires reforestation.

Kenya’s forests are rapidly declining due to pressure from increased population and other land uses. The productive area, which forms about 20% of the country, falls in medium and high potential agro-ecological zones.

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