The County government of Elgeyo Marakwet hosted a delegation of development Partners and national government representatives for a greening programme of Kaptagat water catchment.
Governor Alex Tolgos took the delegation through a tour of the catchment in inspecting a sample of massive tree nurseries in Kessup Forest Station undertaken by Community Based Organisations CBOs.
The governor also graced a tree planting exercise and the official hand-over ceremony of solar powered Kapkoi-kibogy water project that is already a successful initiative in the area sponsored by the UK government through World Wide Fund in partnership with Elgeyo Marakwet County government.
The project in Kapkoi was unveiled by Mr Mike Foster of UK High Commission who represented the High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott, flanked by Dr Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary State department of Environment and Forestry.
The project is part of the Sh.75 million greening Kaptagat conservation funding courtesy of the UK government.
According to the Embassy official, the UK-PACT greening Kaptagat ecosystem focusses on establishing Agroforestry and Clean Energy solutions with a forest based landscape.
These Agroforestry activities include the farming of fruit tree and indiginous species.
Tolgos appreciated the UK government for the initiative saying the Kapkoi-kibogy project guaranteed the community access to clean and safe water.
The Governor also encouraged the community to meaningfully participate in the conservation efforts by owning the drive since they were the primary beneficiaries.
He however advised Community groups engaged in commercial tree planting to register themselves and participate in County government tender pre-qualification to ensure that they earned profit.
The governor advised the CBOs to establish a demonstration plot at the County Headquarters and upscale their ventures to attract a wider market for tree-seedlings.
Addressing a Public meeting at Kapkoi primary school, Dr. Kiptoo said the government with the collaborative partnership of the development Partners was in the process of developing a master plan for the Cherang’any and Kaptagat water catchments.
The implementation of the master-plan, would cost upto a tune of whooping Sh7 billion, said the PS.
According to Dr Kiptoo, the Ministry has in the recent successive years from 2017 to date restored huge chunks of Forest land in Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Uasin Gishu counties with 90% tree survival.
These, he said include parts of Kipkabus, Bombo, Kessup, Kaptagat and Sabor forests.
Noticeable dignitaries in the delegation included Kenya Forestry Research Institute KEFRI Chairman and CEO Dr. Sammy Letema and Joshua Cheboiwo respectively, World Wide Fund Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Awer and Dr. Benjamin Kinyili, a representative of Chief Forest Conservator.
Also present in the meeting included County Commissioner John Korir and area MP Dr. James Murgor, County Forest Coordinator Martin Mutie, County Secretary Paul Chemuttut and Public Service Board Chairman Michael Lelit.