MPs want immediate ban on logging for fear of desertification

Deforestation taking place due to logging/AFP

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – The Environment and National Resources Committee of the National Assembly has called for an immediate ban on logging countrywide for fear of rapid desertification.

Committee Chairman Kareke Mbiuki has also called for a multi-agency task force to audit the country’s forest cover.

The House team also wants the Forestry and Water Conservation docket moved to The Presidency for ease of coordination.

The MP said logging has greatly affected the country’s water towers resulting in the drying of rivers and should therefore be banned.

Mbiuki warned that if the cutting of trees is not contained, the country will be faced with serious natural calamities such as droughts, hunger and diseases in the near future.

“If we don’t address this issue right away, we will be worse than Cape Town in the next five (years),” Mbiuki said while referring to the South African City is edging slowly towards a water crisis of epic proportions.

Cape Town residents have had to drastically minimise their water usage in an effort to put off by 10 weeks “Day Zero” when their taps will run completely dry due to drought.

Three weeks ago officials predicted that Cape Town would reach Day Zero — a first for a major city in modern times — in late April, forcing its four million residents to line up at collection points to receive water rations from trucks. Now the city predicts that it will reach that crisis point on July 9.

Mbiuki noted that water levels in almost all of the country’s rivers have gone down due to the prolonged dry spell which has resulted in water rationing.

The House team Chairman said the Mount Kenya, Cherangany, Mount Elgon, Aberdare and Mau water towers should be protected to ensure that Kenyans have a reliable source of the essential commodity.

LABAN WANAMBISI :Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.