Eucalyptus is one of the widely planted tree species in Kenya that was introduced in the early 1900s to meet the fuelwood needs. Over the years the species turned out to be a pillar of commercial forestry within private lands. Despite the above, the species has attracted both positive and negative appraisals with negative environmental impacts on the hydrological patterns getting louder.
Deep rotted tree species including eucalyptus, mature trees and grasses such as mountain bamboo consume more water than shallow-rooted plants. The Agriculture Act prohibits the planting of all crops and trees which includes eucalyptus near watercourses up to a width of 30 meters. Therefore, watershed management should be approached in a manner that discourages deforestation and de-vegetation. Based on the above the Society recommends planting of water-friendly tree species that delivers a wider range of ecosystem goods and services.
The Society notes and supports the recent directive by the C.S Ministry of Environment and Forestry Hon. Keriako Tobiko on the uprooting of eucalyptus along the riparian lands.