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Greening Kenya project in Ruiru | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Keriako Tobiko (L), Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Margaret Kobia (c), Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs and Fred Matiang’i (r), Cabinet secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government cut a ribbon during the launch of Greening Kenya project in Ruiru, Nairobi, Dec. 19, 2018. Fred Matiang’i (c), Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Internal Security and Coordination of National Government waters a tree. The Kenyan government on Wednesday launched the Greening Kenya Campaign at Ruiru GK prison farm in Kiambu County, with the aim of developing 50 million tree seedlings. XINHUA PHOTOS: FRED MUTUNE

Kenya launches five-year plan to transform arid regions

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Friday launched a five-year plan aimed at transforming arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) into reliable economic hubs in the country.

Eugene Wamalwa, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Devolution and ASALS, said the 2018-2022 strategic plan targets livestock, energy, tourism, agriculture, trade and minerals sectors that are underexploited.

“We want to address the inequalities and vulnerabilities that are currently being experienced in the ASALs in a coordinated manner,” Wamalwa said during the launch.

He said that even though the regions face extreme climatic conditions leading to devastating effects on environment and livelihood of communities with spiraling vulnerabilities, they have a great potential for development and contribution to the national economy.

Wamalwa noted that ASAL regions in Kenya cover 48 million hectares, which is slightly over 80 percent of Kenya’s total land surface.

“Out of this land mass, 9.6 million hectares support marginal agriculture, 15 million are suitable for sedentary livestock production and 24 million hectares are dry and suitable for nomadic pastoralism,” he added.

Wamalwa said that the government is looking at finding long-term solution to the problems in the regions by mainstreaming investments as way of finding lasting sustainable development.

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