Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) ground breaking ceremony was
conducted in Ngerenyi, Mwatate Sub County. The Principal Secretary for
Environment and Natural Resources Dr. Margaret Mwakima together with
H.E Governor Eng. John Mruttu graced the event. The sub region
research center will serve Taita Taveta, Kwale and Kajiado counties.

KEFRI Director Dr. Ben Chikamai stated that the 60 million shillings
project is a great score towards devolution, as they look forward to
increase their presence at the grassroots.

“The residents will benefit from the activities of the institute as
far as employment opportunities and the knowledge which will help them
improve the environment and the regional farm practices. Bio diversity
conversation, high quality forest products, value addition and
capacity building,” said Dr. Chikamai.

Dr. Mwakima said the establishment of institute will ensure
conservation efforts are scaled up through sustainable use of the
available forest resources. This will improve the socio-economic
practices of the area as well as addressing the challenges facing
forestry while improving the forest cover.

She assured wananchi that plans are underway to mark Taita hills as a
national water tower.

“We are working together with Kenya Water Towers Agency to include
Taita Hills in the list of national water towers. This will ensure
that the region enjoys the privileges enjoyed by other 18 towers
nationwide,” said Dr. Mwakima.

Dr. Mwakima also asked the area leadership to look for land where a
Green School will be established to work together with KEFRI to
prepare wood logs as she has stated that funds for the project have
been allocated.

Governor Eng. John Mruttu has said that the County Government is ready
to work with the central government to support such noble initiatives
in the County.

Eng. Mruttu urged the management of the institute to ensure that
research knowledge and findings are shared with the local community so
that they can directly benefit from them.

The program comes after Taita Taveta County became the first County in
the republic to sign its Transition Implementation Plan(TIP) earlier
in January this year.

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