As the agency mandated to develop water infrastructure and flood control, we are in the forefront in implementing the Presidential Directive on National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign of growing 15 billion trees by 2032. This will increase the tree cover from the current 12% to 30% by 2032.
We have participated in various tree growing initiatives across the country in collaboration with other stakeholders and our key partners, the Resources Oriented Development Initiatives (RODI) Kenya and Kenya Forest Service, (KFS).
Key among these events is the Kiserian Dam tree growing where we target to plant 6,000 trees along the water catchment area of the Dam, in an exercise that will be done in phases. The dam was constructed by the Authority in the year 2008 and started operations in 2013. However, the water level at the dam has gone down due to siltation and reduced rainfall in the area due to climate change.
The Kajiado West Assistant County Commissioner Ms. Adrine Muia urged the community to take care of the trees to ensure they grow to their fullest adding that the local administration will work with all stakeholders to ensure this is achieved. She was representing Kajiado County Commissioner.
Dr. Regei Salau, the Managing Director of Oloolaiser Water & Sewerage Company expressed his gratitude for the initiative that will help the company to ensure sustainable supply of water to Ongata Rongai and Kiserian townships.
He noted that the dam has silted over the year hence its capacity of reduced. However, with the tree growing initiative and disilting, the dam’s capacity and lifespan will increase.
RODI Kenya Executive Director Ms. Esther Bett said they were glad to partner with the Authority in this initiative and Kiserian Dam is one among the many sites identified for tree growing. She emphasized that the aim is to grow the trees and ensure 100% survival rate. RODI Kenya will empower the community through sensitization on how put back carbon through tree growing and restore the wetlands in the process.
Kajiado County Forest Conservator Mr. Phineas Rewa thanked all those who participated in the exercise noting that the area along Kiserian Dam was full of trees a few years ago but due to deforestation, the weather has changed with very high temperatures, a trend that can be reversed through tree growing.
Mr. Rewa gave the assurance of KFS’s commitment in supporting the initiative. He urged all stakeholders to always consult the local forest technical officer for guidance on the right species to grow in different areas and any other technical advice on trees. He was speaking on behalf of the KFS Chief Conservator of forests, Alex Lemarkoko.
The Authority’s Chairman Mr. Symon Maina pointed out that as the agency mandated to develop water infrastructure and flood control, we are in the forefront in implementing the Presidential National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign of growing 15 billion trees by 2032. “It is in our interest to ensure the water catchment areas are protected so that the water in our reservoirs remain clean and retain their capacity in a sustainable manner.” Mr. Maina.
The Authority’s Ag. Chief Executive Officer Eng. John K. Muhia thanked all our stakeholders for their support. These are RODI Kenya, KFS, the Government Administration, Oloolaiser Water & Sewerage Company, National Irrigation Authority, the Water Resource Users Association and the Community of Kiserian Dam.