Rongo University Vice Chancellor Professor Samuel Gudu has urged Migori residents to plant more trees to ensure food security in the County.
Speaking during the World Environment Day held at Rongo University, Migori county, Prof. Gudu said Migori county was yet to achieve food security due to the low forest cover.
This he said had made the county suffer gravely from environment degradation, depriving the county of enough food.
“Migori County has very low forest cover and that implies that soil erosion and land degradation takes place at a faster rate than normal,” Prof. Gudu said.
The Vice Chancellor said planting trees was the only way locals would help the Migori environment transform and be safe for food production.
Prof. Gudu said the University had already taken it upon itself and had introduced Environment and Agricultural courses to their curriculum to produce experts who will help the county and the country in among other things, achieving high forest cover.
The event was themed ‘Environment and Education’
“There is no way we will be able to develop and grow enough food if we don’t keep the environment sustainable,” Prof. Gudu said.
He urged local to take it upon themselves to ensure the county realises an improved forest cover percentage despite the county and national government interventions.
Migori County forest cover stands at 0.06% with the main areas being hill tops across the county.
In order to increase this percentage, Chief Officer in the department of Environment and Disaster management Mr. Joshua Ngwala said more hill tops will be gazetted to become County forests and National forests.
Mr. Ngwala said the County government had invested in technology, research and cooperation with stakeholders including World Vision, KEFRI, KFS and Rongo University to achieve forest cover within the shortest time.
The Chief Officer said Migori needed around shs 700M including stakeholders input to increase the forest cover.
He however said it will take time for county residents to feel the change in forest cover.
“Our efforts shall not be apparent at the moment but within 5-10 years it shall be clear how much coverage will have increased,” Ngwala said.