Kenya steps up security in forests

April 8, 2009 12:00 am
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Security has been stepped up in the country’s forests to prevent arson, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said.

He said late Tuesday that the country risked irreparable damage to the ecosystem unless urgent measures were taken to stem the destruction of the various forests including Mau.

Recent forest fires which have been associated with the long, dry spells experienced in the country and arson attacks claimed over 30,000 hectares of forest land and killed small animals.

“The government will do everything possible to stop further destruction of forests in the country,” the Premier said.

The Premier asked local communities living in the area to make sacrifices to ensure the success of conservation of the Mau complex which not only affects Kenya but the East Africa region.

“In the same vein I am appealing to Kenyans of goodwill to contribute to the Mau conservation kitty as a lot of resources are needed to restore the Mau ecosystem to its original state,” he said.
 
A government report on conserving the endangered water tower is to be made public within two weeks.

Mr Odinga was speaking in his Treasury office when he received a donation worth Sh200,000 from a nine-year granddaughter of Industrialist Manu Chandaria towards the conservation of the Mau. The Premier pledged to top it up with a similar amount.

Mirali Chandaria raised the funds after she sacrificed her birthday gifts to raise money for the conservation of the Mau.

“It is moving for a child of this age to have such compassion towards conservation efforts, her action is worth emulating,” the Premier said.

He said the country risked irreparable damage unless urgent measures were taken to stem the destruction of the Mau ecosystem.

“I urge communities living in the area to make sacrifices to ensure the success of conservation of the Mau forest.”

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