|Officials of KFWG when they toured Kuresoi Forest. [Photo:Antony Gitonga/Standard]|
By Antony Gitonga
Environmentalists and stakeholders have expressed concern over the row and said this could lead to degradation of forests and derail achieved efforts.
Kenya Forests Working Group (KFWG) national coordinator Rudolf Makhanu called for intervention to ensure the two State agencies reach a common understanding to save the dwindling forest cover.
Mr Makhanu was speaking to the Press after a fact-finding mission of Kuresoi, Chagaik and Cheboswa forests in South Western Mau.
The visit established that illegal loggers and charcoal burners have invaded the gazetted forests with minimal or no supervision by Government agencies.
“If this trend is allowed to continue then the Government should declare illegal logging and charcoal burning a disaster,” he said.
He noted that Kenya loses at least 12,000 hectares of forest cover every year to human activities, which was affecting forest sector reforms.
Makhanu said the illegal loggers were targeting indigenous plantations for timber and charcoal.
“They transport the trees and charcoal out of the forests at night using donkeys to nearby shopping centres before being ferried to Kericho, Nakuru and Nairobi,” he said.
Kuresoi, Chagaik and Cheboswa forests are part of Mau complex and extend to Nakuru and Kericho counties.