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Over 30 loggers, charcoal burners arrested in crackdown following ban

By Antony Gitonga | Published Thu, March 8th 2018 at 11:28, Updated March 8th 2018 at 11:35 GMT +3

Over 30 loggers and charcoal burners have been arrested in Naivasha following a major crackdown targeting the illegal traders in the wake on logging ban.

Also recovered during the operation that was conducted in Kihoto estate and Kedong ranch by AP officers were tens of charcoal bags and firewood ready for the market.

ALSO READ: 200 trees cut a day after ban on logging

This came as it emerged that charcoal burners were taking advantage of the expansive nature of the ranch that borders three counties to carry out their illegal activities.

Addressing the press after the crackdown, Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Isaac Masinde said they were implementing a directive on the ban on charcoal burning and illegal logging.

He said a special unit had been formed to patrol all areas of the lake side and apprehend those found logging or carrying out activities that have for now been banned.

Masinde termed the issue of logging as serious and one that had made the key lake Naivasha catchment area dry.

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“We are serious in this issue and our officers deployed to carry out crackdown will do so day and night in all areas”, said Masinde.

He added that the ban applied across the board noting that they were committed to ensuring that it was followed to the letter.

“Many people think that the ban on logging is to be enforced only in large forests such as the Mau but it applies across all locations including private farms,” he said.

Masinde said the suspects nabbed will be arraigned in court to face various charges including that of trespassing into private farms.

ALSO READ: Developing: Gridlock along the Naivasha-Nairobi Highway

He at the same time revisited last week’s issue where close to 200 mature Acacia trees were cut down on the directive of Kenya Power officials at Kihoto area a few kilometers from Naivasha town.

Masinde said his office had summoned the officer in charge of the company in the area to explain on whose authority he was acting upon.

The administrator said no one had the authority to cut down the trees that acted as key catchment to Lake Naivasha.

“We issued a directive for them to stop felling more trees in the name of creating a route for electricity lines but we will act if we find due process was not followed,” said the administrator.