County Executive Committee member (CEC) of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, George Emoru Emojong, said the use of technologies like the absorbent polymer for water retention in grow indigenous trees and sorghum will assist the county in reforestation and enhancing food security.
Speaking at the launch of the project at Lodwar Energy Centre – Nadapal-Nauriebu, the CEC also encourage residents of the county to plant more trees.
“We should plant trees to return Turkana as it was before with forests and full of wildlife. The destruction of the forests has led to climate change and also wildlife has migrated,” says CEC Emoru.
He further added that planting of trees is a collective responsibility which includes all government entities and the community working in partnership.
The research project, with a second site in Bishop Mohan area, is being done by Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) and University of Edinburg. Apart from the planting of indigenous trees, the research will study the use of the same polymer on sorghum variety that is dual purpose; fodder and grain.
The Chief Officer of Agriculture, Dr. Jacob Lolelea said, “sorghum is an indigenous food for our people by adopting agricultural technologies then we can expand the arable land in the county.”
“With only 10 grams the polymer can retain water for up to three weeks, the research would like to know if it can work in such extreme areas like Turkana,” said Dr David Langat, the head of KEFRI Rift Valley Eco-Region.
He added that the research was expected to run for two years. He also appreciated the county government for partnering in the project to ensure its success.
In attendance was Research Scientist KALRO Kabete – Engineer Fabian Kaburu, KEFRI Deputy Regional Director for Rift Valley – Jesse Owino and Head of KEFRI Lodwar – Dr. Edward Mengich.