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Environment CS sets up taskforce to review forestry management

Tobiko said the taskforce will coordinate stakeholder engagements as well undertake a fact-finding survey on forest resources/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko, has gazetted a 10 member multi-sectoral taskforce to review forestry management in the country.

The team gazetted Monday will be headed by the Green Belt Movement Chairperson, Marion Wakanyi Kamau.

Other members of the special task force are Environment Institute of Kenya Vice Chairperson, Linda Munyao, Rhino Ark Charitable Trust Executive Director, Christian Lambrechts, Kenya Association of Manufacturers chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga, and Kenya Water Towers Agency Chairperson, Isaac Kalua.

Also serving as members of the taskforce will be prominent corporate lawyer and Kenya Commercial Bank Director, Adil Khawaja, Kenya Private Sector Alliance Environment, Water and Natural Resources Sector Board Chairperson, Duncan Kimani, Central Trade Union official Ernest Nadome as well as lawyers Faith Waigwa and Gideon Kilakoi.

The formation of the task force follows Deputy President William Ruto’s declaration of a three-month moratorium on timber harvesting on Saturday.

Ruto directed the ministry of environment and forestry to constitute a taskforce and prepare a report on forestry management within two weeks.

Speaking on Tuesday when he announced the formation of the taskforce, Tobiko was clear that an interim report will be tabled within fourteen days as directed by DP Ruto on Saturday.

He said the taskforce will coordinate stakeholder engagements as well undertake a fact-finding survey on forest resources.

Tobiko assured the membership of the team of the government’s commitment to providing resources needed to enable the task force deliver on its mandate.

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He said the government is keen to bring to an end the wanton destruction of forests resources which put the nation’s economic transformation agenda at risk.

“The government is conscious of the urgent need to provide remedial action and resources to save our forestry resources,” Tobiko said.

“The appointment of this Rapid Results Taskforce provides a much-needed foundation for a multi-sectoral action plan and I look forward to receiving their report and recommendations at the earliest opportunity,” he added.

Already, Tobiko said, his ministry in collaboration with other relevant ministries, departments, and agencies of both National and County governments have commenced joint operations to enforce the moratorium declared by DP Ruto.

Kenya has in the recent past been faced with an unprecedented drought that has left 3.4 million of its population food insecure with the number projected to rise to 3.9 million in 2018.

Nairobi City has also been affected by the harsh climatic conditions with water levels at dams supplying the capital with water sinking to one of the lowest in the history.

The city’s water company has had to adopt rationing to manage the dwindling water levels.

Recent reports have shown that water scarcity in Nairobi could persist at least until 2026.

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