Twenty arrested over illegal charcoal business in Magarini

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) rangers have arrested 20 suspects at Dakatcha woodland forest found engaging in illegal trade and destroyed over 1000 bags of charcoal since the operation begun last month.

The KFS Base commander in charge of Malindi Rapid Forest Inspection and Protection Unit, Harrison Afuata said they have also managed to destroy over 2000 charcoal production sites inside Dakatcha woodland forest and Adu ranch.

Speaking during the World Environment Day Celebrations at Dakatcha Primary School on Monday, Afuata said the rangers also intercepted four vehicles ferrying the illegal goods.

I will be in Dakatcha forest for the whole month to protect the forest and move out of the forest when the ban is lifted,” he said.

Meanwhile, area residents led by their member of County Assembly, Renson Kambi said they would no longer go for charcoal production until the ban is lifted to avoid clashing with the authorities.

However, they appealed to the government to allow them transport thousands of charcoal bags lying at collection centres as they were produced before the ban.

During the celebrations attended by Kilifi County Executive member of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Mwachitu Kiringi it emerged that KFS, which is mandated to conserve the forest is not aware of the extent of conservation areas in the vast forest which has settlements inside.

The KFS base commander told the locals to show him boundaries of the conservation areas.

Kiringi said the matter will be discussed with Governor Amason Kingi and promised to get a solution in a week’s time.

Source: Kenya News Agency