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By Eric Omwombo 

Part of the 156 million FLLoCA funds for Siaya will facilitate programs that are geared towards protection of Yala Delta and 2 gazetted hilltops.
Governor James Orengo as proposed Yala Delta that covers Lake Kanyaboli, the two gazetted hilltops as ecosystems that should be restored even as process for gazetting ting other 17 community hills kicks off.

In a high profile meeting that brought together Siaya Environment, Water and Forest stakeholders, it was agreed that Siaya will boost tree coverage and a total of 14.9 million of trees to be grown in the county after 8 years.

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The team also agreed on the protection of Yala delta which is home to aquatic life, endangered Sitatunga and 100 bird species.

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Orengo said will now be created between agriculture and conservation of the wet lands.
It’s the restoration of the flagship ecosystem and implementation of flood mitigation projects at the grass roots that will consume KES 156 million FLLoCA funds disbursed in the County.
Its the environment executive Prof. Jacquelin Oduol, Chief officer Judy Patel and Director Environment Gabriel Odungi that will see the programs actualised.

The Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya while addressing Siaya environment and Forest stakeholders said the treasury had released KES4.5 billion is meant to support restoration of the ecosystem in 45 counties.
“we had a meeting with 16 governors in Kisumu and delved on climate action programs where She 4.5 billion was allocated to facilitate restoration of the ecosystem in 45 counties Mombasa and Nairobi excluded,” said Tuya.

“Ecosystem restoration is a collective effort between National government, partner stakeholders and we have 15 billion trees to grow under the ecosystem restoration program and Siaya has an allocation of 15 Million trees in 8 years,” said Tuya.

The programme targets 100,000 hectares of land and it shall run for 8 years.

“Protection is needed in terms of gazettment and fencing of the areas earmarked for restoration. Water for sprinkling on the planted trees must be made available and personnel especially youths caring for the trees and propagating for seedlings should be recruited,” Tuya said

The CS had paid Siaya Governor James Orengo a courtesy call before planting trees at Mbaga hill and touring the second ox-bow lake Kanyaboli.
She said systems must also be out in place for reporting and documenting the progress of the programmes being implemented on the ground.
“We have a secretariat working on Jaza miti App who shall work in hand with technical teams from the county to ensure the funds was doing marvelous in terms of ecosystem restoration,” CS said.

Aim of doing so is to ensure Siaya does not do badly on tree cover or forest cover. we want to make sure Siaya is at the top in terms of FLLoCA funds disbursement.

She said that Siaya has to identify the flagship ecosystems and so far we have the conservation of Yala delta and the 2 gazetted hill stops.
“We have settled on the Yala delta for conservation for its home if 100 species of birds, endangered Sitatunga antelope and other species of fish including the rare Okoko.

Tuya said the migratory birds and protection we do to Lake Kanyaboli and entire wet land is not only benefiting Siaya but the globe.

The planting of the trees will not be an affair of County government alone but other key stakeholders including Kenya Forest Service, Education.

Siaya is endowed with Hill tops with 17 of them yet to be gazetted.

“With the good will of the county leadership, the reports to that effect should reach headquarters as soon as possible for the government to start the processes,” said

She added that the good will of the leadership shall also pave way for ease public participation,”Tuya added.

“30 percent of the trees to be planted through the programme must be fruit trees and a higher percentage of trees to be grown in Arid and Semi Arid Areas must be fodder.

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