The casual manner the Government has handled the raging fires in Mt Kenya Forest speaks volumes on how low environmental matters are rated and have been relegated.
Ministers for Environment and Special Programmes or the principals have not visited the area to assess the damage. Yet, Mt Kenya Forest is not only one of the key and pillar water towers but itâs the lifeline of millions of people.
In developed countries that really value their environment, and where national leaders are passionate, enthusiastic, focused and sensitive to environmental matters, one could have seen a more robust and aggressive response to contain forest fires.
This is in mobilising resources and machinery to stop this threat to the eco-system. We have a national disaster, which the Government should have taken more seriously.
Although, the army, police, Administration Police, Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service personnel have been deployed, these officers donât have the necessary tools, expertise and techniques to put out the fires.
Itâs a national embarrassment to note that almost 50 years of independence, we are not prepared and equipped with the latest and modern fire fighting techniques and tools. Yet, when forest fires strike and consume our key forest pillars, it definitely threatens our national security in many ways.
Itâs grossly unfortunate that the whole country is focusing on the intensive debate on the date of the next general election as the fires wreck havoc threatening lives.
If the Governmentâs capacity is limited, it should seek assistance from our friendly countries and international agencies.
This is a matter of national and even international importance that should be swiftly and firmly dealt with. The Government should have declared it a national disaster.
The ongoing forest fires in Mt Kenya and Aberdare forests are the clearest indicators of poor disaster preparedness by the Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service. This is not the first time we are experiencing this kind of devastation.
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