A damning report has shed light on an elaborate collusion between Kenya Forests Service (KFS) staff and saw millers, as the country struggles to prevent fast-diminishing forest cover.
The report by the team formed to examine the management of forests and logging activities in the country revealed how KFS irregularly allocates trees to certain saw millers, undervalues trees and keeps a poor records besides allocation of forest blocks in some cases.
“Observations made across the field visits included undervaluation of the trees for harvesting as a common practice between KFS officers and saw millers,” says the report.
The report accuses KFS of 'institutionalised corruption', saying that some of the diligent officers are constantly victimised by cartels.
“The Board and Management of the Kenya Forest Service has been unable to stem and in some instances have directly participated in, abated, and systemised rampant corruption,” says the report.
The team, headed by Greenbelt Movement Chair Marion Kamau, recommends that no KFS staff should be stationed in one location for more than three years.