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Ruto detaches forest conservation from 2022 debate

By Wainaina Wambu | Published Tue, March 6th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 5th 2018 at 21:16 GMT +3
Deputy President William Ruto. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Deputy President yesterday sought to separate Kenya’s conservation efforts from the political debate on the 2022 polls.

William Ruto said the Government was commitment to reclaiming the country's shrinking forest cover.

Mr Ruto said the Uhuru Kenyatta-led administration was ready to look for alternative sources of forest resources, including importation.

A task force charged with assessing forest resource management and logging activities is expected to table a report in two weeks.

At the top of the agenda of the task force will also be to consider whether a 90-day moratorium on timber harvesting in public forests ordered by Ruto last month would be converted into a ban.

“Some sacrifices have to be made and the Government of Kenya is prepared, willing, and able to make those sacrifices,” Ruto said while unveiling the 15-member team yesterday.

The DP said the narrative on forests and 2022 politics should be centred on how Kenya can achieve 10 per cent forest cover by 2022.

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“These are... are not matters for photo opportunities and publicity stunts as we have seen in the past... people going to Mau and planting two trees, making big statements, and leaving. That is why we continue having 500,000 acres in our water catchment areas unplanted,” said Ruto.

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