Coast Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with stakeholders in Environmental and Water Management sectors has kicked off a tree planting exercise in Kasemeni Division of Kwale County as part of a strategic campaign to increase forest cover to 10 percent by the year 2022.
Spearheading the reforestation exercise, CDA Managing Director Dr Mohamed Keinan says the exercise is aimed at increasing the forest cover along the water catchment areas of Mwache Dam.
The initiative also targets schools, government offices compounds and community compounds in an effort to increase forest cover in the country to at least 10% in line with the global figures to reduce the impact of climate change.
“Within this year we are supposed to plant 100, 000 tree seedlings along the catchment area of Mwache Dam so that we can achieve our target” said Keinan while launching the tree planting exercise in the areas of Kasemeni and Mwavumbo wards where the dam project is located.
The CDA MD said since the inception of the project 4 years ago the Development Authority has planted 300,000 seedlings along the water catchment area.
Dr Keinan said the Authority will plant 69,000 tree seedlings this year during the rainy season within the water tower catchment of Mwache Dam.
“In today’s exercise we are going to plant about 2,500 tree seedlings, along the dam we had planted 3,000 seedlings and we are calling on the community to support this exercise of planting trees and managing them,” Dr Keinan said during the interview.
Other accomplished activities by CDA include, addressing soil erosion through construction of gabions and teaching community terracing soil conservation method in their farms as a way of catchment conservation.
“In collaboration with our partners Water Resources Authority (WRA), we were able to do riparian marking and pegging to allow for the regeneration of natural vegetation,” the MD said.
Dr Keinan who was accompanied by the CDA board Chair Philip Charo, Kasemeni Division Assistant County Commissioner Peter Silonga Ole Masaa among other National government and Kwale County officers said Mwache catchment management is being implemented by the CDA Project Implementation Unit (CDA PIU) in partnership with the Water Resources Authority (WRA), Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs), Kwale County Government, the Kenya Forestry Service (KFS), the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KeFRI) and the local community.
Keinan hinted construction works of the much-awaited mega water project co-funded by the World Bank and the Kenya government to the tune of Sh.20 billion is expected to begin soon and the contractor is on the site assembling work machinery.
[Coast Development Authority MD Dr Mohamed Keinan addressing the media after launching the tree planting exercise in Kasemeni Division, Kwale County. Photo/Ahmed Omar/May, 05, 2022].
The dam is meant to harness the flood flows from Mwache River basin in Kinango sub county and help tackle persistent water shortages in the coastal region.
The Mwache Dam is an 87.5 meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters for water supply and irrigation and is expected to boost the water supply for Kwale and Mombasa counties.
The Coast Development Authority is the executing agency of rehabilitation works while the Ministry of Water, through the Project Management Unit (PMU), is the overall implementing agency.
On his part Coast Development Authority Chair Philip Charo urged the community of Kasemeni Division to embrace the tree plant project through conservation of afforestation catchment area.