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Economy

Firms told to finance tree planting in Tana restoration campaign

A worker on a farm along Tana River. PHOTO | FILE
A worker on a farm along Tana River. PHOTO | FILE 

Former KenGen chief executive Eddy Njoroge has asked firms operating within cities and other urban areas to donate cash in a campaign to restore vegetation in the Upper Tana region.

Mr Njoroge, now Water Fund president, said the funding would ensure water catchment s along key rivers that serve Nairobi and other major towns were safeguarded.

“We are now experiencing water shortages across the country and the electricity producers have issued an alert that thermal generation will be activated to boost energy production,” he said yesterday at the launch a Sh800 million fund for environmental conservation.

Coca-Cola, Sally Family, East Africa Breweries Limited, PentAir and Frigoken are among the companies that joined hands with environmental lobby group The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and International Fund for Development to launch the drive.

“It is time all companies were lured to actively participate in environmental conservation,” he told private sector players at the event.

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The project targets 21,000 farmers living in the Upper Tana water catchment areas of Chania-Thika, Maragua and the Sagana-Gura sub-watershed to help them improve income, promote agroforestry, terrace farms on steep hill slopes and discourage roadside cultivation to reduce erosion.

“The farmers will be expected to engage in tree farming as a commercial business thereby diversifying income avenues for better livelihoods,” said TNC in a statement.

Nairobi’s TNC water funds director Fred Kihara said the high population in major urban centres could be sustained through clean water supply and environmental conservation.

He added that protecting the environment would increase water for domestic and industrial use as well as boost food production.

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