Lake Victoria: Locals push for establishment of more tree nursery centres
Although some of the residents have shelved their fishing gears and resorted to farming watermelon, tomatoes and cassava along the lake, the unpredictable weather pattern was affecting their activities.
“There is no enough fish in the waters these days, which is why most of us have resorted to planting watermelon and tomatoes,” said Robert Oguda, a farmer in Muhuru-Bay within Migori County.
According to Mr. Oguda the unpredictable weather pattern has affected farming activities along the lake forcing them to resort to irrigation.
“I hear it has been raining in Nairobi and a few other places in the country, but it is yet to rain properly here,” said Mr. Oguda.
Reports indicate that many people living along the lake had resorted to charcoal burning, brick making and firewood business after fishing became untenable.
“The last ten years has seen people cut down trees to burn charcoal and prepare bricks. This is why we are suffering. The rains are gone, and the temperatures are very high,” said Mr. Oguda.
Muhuru Central Chief Erick Suna told Wananchi Reporting that local administration has been working to ensure vegetation in the lake region is conserved.
"We don't allow people to cut trees even if it's in your compound. If it is determined that a tree is obstructing a road path or a house then we can allow on condition that three new seedlings are planted in their place," said Chief Suna.
"We have a government tree nursery in Muhuru East, and a private one in Muhuru West where locals can get seedlings at Sh5 per seedling," said the Chief.
"We are encouraging people to plant trees. It is unfortunate that we have not had rain for a long time, but this can improve in the future if we all embrace tree planting," said Chief Suna, noting that the local administration is working closely with Migori County Commissioner to ensure more trees are planted.
“It is important to empower the learning institutions, non-governmental organizations, churches and other community based organisations to be able to put up private nurseries,” said Pastor Kennedy Rugara who also resides along the lake.
Residents want more tree nurseries in areas along the kate to promote afforestation.
The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is mandated to conserve, manage and protect public forest resources and to provide technical support to the County Governments, to manage community and private forests.
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