The Moyale Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), John Cheruiyot has banned wanton felling of trees for charcoal burning in the area.
The DCC said forests in Moyale were threatened resources in the Sub-county and nearly 70 per cent of the population use charcoal for cooking and other domestic use, thus depleting Kenya’s water towers.
Cheruyoit said his Sub-county was planning to establish a programme of tree nurseries in every school within the Sub-county aimed at increasing the forest cover in the area, so as to attract rainfall and promote agricultural output in a bid to mitigate perennial food shortage.
Although environment is a devolved function, we as the national government will not allow charcoal burning to continue, we will join hands with the County government and make sure that the culprits are brought to book, he said.
I have also directed chiefs and their assistants to make sure that the charcoal bags which are seen on road sides in their areas of jurisdiction are removed, and they should also establish tree nurseries in their offices and distribute the trees free of charge to wananchi, during the rainy season at least to increase the forest cover, Cheruyoit said.
The administrator disclosed that recently 252 sacks of charcoal were confiscated by the Golbo Assistant County Commissioner, Fredrick Mwai with the help of Mazingira conservation group, but the suspects were not arrested.
Cheruyoit called on the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to enforce the law that requires any person cutting down trees whether in gazetted forests or otherwise, to seek for a permit from the KFS office or else is arrested and prosecuted.
The KFS Officer, Surtan Kirongo said they were understaffed and his office was doing the best to bring down charcoal burning, he said he was in liaison with the DCC to be given enforcement and that the hostile communities in the Sub- county have contributed to destruction of forests for charcoal burning.
Source: Kenya News Agency