KILIFI, KENYA: Community adjacent to the Jilore Forest has condemned the proposed excavation of thousands of tons of murram within the Forest which is part of protected Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve.
The community together with the Kenya Forests Working Group say that a company has already been awarded a multibillion shilling tender to construct Malindi -Tsavo East road.
The community alleges that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to mine marram from within the forest and adjacent community land has been approved, and that some of the community members have been approached by the company requesting for land where such activity can be carried out.
Of concern to conservationists is that there has never been public consultation over the proposed project. Jackson Bambo, the National Coordinator Kenya Forests Working Group argues that Kenya Forest Service (KFS) should not allow such an activity to take place inside the forest especially when it is envisaged some trees will be cut to pave way for the marram excavation.
“KFS should not be arm twisted to accept degazettement of any portion of the forest to give approval of the illegal activity and lastly KFS should stick to the approved plan and forest management agreement entered between them and Jilore Community Forest Association,” said Mr Bambo.