Home NEWS Local News We’re keen on fencing all gazetted forests, CS Tuya says

We’re keen on fencing all gazetted forests, CS Tuya says

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has announced Government plans to fence all gazetted forests across the country to safeguard them from encroachment and other destructive human activities. 

She said the fencing would also help sustain the gains made through ecosystem restoration efforts such as the 15 billion national tree growing programme.

Channel 1

“The first thing we’ve done as a Ministry is to map all forests across Kenya. We’re looking for partners to back up Government funding for fencing of all forests across the country,” CS Tuya announced.

The Cabinet Secretary spoke on Wednesday in Marsabit during a meeting with community forest association on the first day of her two-day working visit of the County at the Marsabit Kenya Forest Service (KFS) office.

At the same time, CS Tuya appealed to forest adjacent communities to participate more actively in conservation activities saying the Government won’t succeed in its ecosystem restoration efforts without their support.

“I know we won’t succeed without collaboration and good relations with communities. We must collaborate. You are our eyes. You’re the owners of the environment,” CS Tuya said.

She said the Government had mounted a major crackdown on logging and all forms of illegal forest activities starting in Mau forest complex before moving onto other forest ecosystems across the country.

“People who imagine that our forests are available for encroachment should forget it. We have started an operation, starting in Mau, a place called Sururu and we will go to all forests,” CS Tuya said as she challenged KFS to enhance surveillance against illegal forest activities.

“We can’t employ more rangers and then have more illegalities. The reason we are employing more rangers is to enhance enforcement. We have to phase out all illegal forest activities.

“We can’t be pushing for the growing of 15 billion trees while at the same time losing more trees to illegal activities. We can’t be engaged in a zero sum game,” the CS cautioned.

Once again, the Cabinet Secretary reminded Government agencies of their targets as set out in the 15 billion national tree growing programme saying her Ministry will follow up to ensure that the thresholds are met.

CS Tuya also spoke about propagation of adequate seedlings to support the 15 billion national tree growing programme saying her Ministry was working with Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) to produce enough seeds to support the initiative.

Alongside production of adequate tree seeds, CS Tuya said KEFRI had been tasked to undertake ecological species matching to ensure that Kenyans grow trees best suited for their ecological zones.

“We’re working with KEFRI, which is a scientific institution in my Ministry, to undertake species matching so that, if it is Marsabit, we know the right species for this area,” the CS said, adding that 30 percent of all seeds produced will be fruit and nut species to support agroforestry.

To accelerate the tree growing initiative, CS Tuya said her Ministry through KFS was in the process of recruiting youth to participate in the 15 billion national tree initiative through a programme dubbed ‘green army’.

“Green army are youth who will assist the Government in propagation of seedlings and growing of trees,” CS Tuya said as she promised transparency in the ongoing national recruitment exercise saying priority will be given to locals.

On wetlands conservation, the CS said the Government was keen on mapping and fencing wetlands across the country so as to use their water for all-year tree growing activities.

Other speakers at the meeting were NEMA DG Mamo Mamo and Marsabit County MP Naomi Waqo who decried the increasing encroachment of Marsabit Forest and called for concerted efforts to conserve the county’s forests.

Alongside forest conservation, Waqo, who is accompanying the CS on the 2-day visit, called for enhanced security patrols around Marsabit Forest saying the forest had become a den for armed bandits who maim and kill locals.

Forests CS Tuya

CS Tuya, who is accompanied by several senior Government officials among them NEMA Board Chairman Emilio Mugo, will visit several wetland conservation projects in North Horr sub-county and address a public baraza in the area.



Website | + posts