The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) has today planted 3,000 seedlings in the vast Kamatira forest in West Pokot County in a historic partnership with the County Government in conserving the environment and upgrading the forest cover.
The Company’s General Manager, Technical Services Dr. (Eng.) Joseph Siror and West Pokot governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo led hundreds of local residents, County Government officials and KETRACO staff in the one-day tree planting exercise.
The Company undertook the initiative in adherence to a presidential tree planting call that aims at increasing the national forest coverage by 10 percent.
It is also in appreciation of the Company’s Turkwel-Ortum – Kitale electricity transmission project that traverses the county. The project, if completed, will improve power supply, reliability and provide stable voltage profiles within the greater North Rift region.
The ongoing 138Km 22kV single circuit line has a rating of 106MW and runs from the Turkwel power plant to Ortum and Kitale. The project includes two substations at Ortum and Kitale and expansion of Turkwel Substation. It will provide an alternative power supply path for power generated at Turkwel.
“Other than environmental health, tree planting is important to the wellbeing of both animals and human beings. It is globally recognized as one of the most engaging, environmentally friendly activity,” Dr. Siror said.
“This exercise will therefore provide a multitude of benefits; both long term and short term to West Pokot Community. In most cases, trees are planted to provide shade and beauty. However, tree planting also serves other purposes, for example, Carbon sequestration,” he added.
Siror said trees were able to absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year noting that this will enhance air quality and also aid in controlling floods by slowing down heavy rains.
He said forests aid in providing natural filtration of water for its storage systems process nearly two thirds of water supply.
“This project therefore, is expected to be of great impact to West Pokot Community and towards the achievement of Vision 2030,” said Dr. Siror.