Residents of Kisii County are frustrated by the county government’s move in getting rid of the Eucalyptus plant. The eucalyptus tree is also known as the blue gum tree, is known for its high level of sucking water from the deep soils. The plant has been primarily grown in the Kisii area as the area has not been giving the residents good returns in both tea and coffee, forcing the residents to look for an alternative.
With the high population of people and high farming of the Eucalyptus tree, the area has been facing challenges in water production as the level of water has reduced over the year. The cause of this is said to be the farming of the famous plant in Kisii county. As reported by Nation Media, one Mr Joseph Nyangau has been farming and selling the Eucalyptus seedlings for the last 15 years and is quite surprised by the move to ban Eucalyptus farming.
Kisii is known for its small land sizes. The residents encroaching and planting the Eucalyptus tree on water sources such as River Gucha has led to the region experiencing climate change challenges. The move is said to support environmental conservation and protect the area from climate change.
The Governor of Kisii County, James Ongwae, brought up the Kisii County Climate Change Bill,2020 which led to this ban. The governor says,” The Bill will enhance climate resilience in the county, whose population is among the highest in the country, through development, management, implementation, regulation and monitoring of adaptation and mitigation measures and actions”.
The residents who are planting the tree as a cash crop sell it to Kenya Power, schools and coffee farmers. The trees are used by Kenya Power to aid in power transmission and the making of the distribution poles. Mr Ongawe also says that even after issuing the directive for people to cut the tree and water catchment areas, the people are yet to follow and obey the orders.