National Assembly Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources led by chairman Hon Kareke Mbiuki today paid me a courtesy call ahead of their visit to Mau forest to assess forest destruction.
Nakuru County welcomes the ban on logging as it will address the challenge of forest degradation.
We urge the committee and the forest taskforce to consider prudent allocation of forests timber manufacturers. We want to be consulted on the allocation of forests because it is mainly done in Nairobi and at times the wrong people are allowed to fell trees. Locals communities should have a say in this through their representatives.
Also we call for a forest cover audit, which should be done periodically so that we don’t have sudden ban that affect businesses. Elburgon and Molo towns are home to big saw millers, some of whom recently opened shop. A forest cover audit would allow for predictability in terms of when people are allowed or not allowed into the forests to harvest timber and also assess progress in tree planting exercises.
We ask the National Government to consider fencing the Mau to ensure only authorized personnel get in. Communities too should be involved in conservation so that they appreciate the value of protecting forests.
We should also start seeking innovative ways of coming up with construction materials that would offer an alternative to timber. We could for example start manufacturing and use of plastic poles as opposed to wooden poles.
Nakuru County will partner with the National Government to plant at least 20 million trees and also encourage farmers to plant fruit trees such as avocado. We target to plant 300,000 avocado trees this season.
Leaders present included MPs Charity Kathambi Chepkwony, Beatrice Kones and Hillary Kosgey. Nakuru Water, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources CEC Eng. Festus Ng’eno was also present.