NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – The new Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Keriako Tobiko has taken over with a tough warning on illegal logging and enforcement of the plastic bags ban.
Tobiko said illegal logging has led to drought and water shortage in various parts of the country saying those found destroying the environment will not be spared.
“As I take office, this country is facing serious drought and water shortage and this is because we have interfered with our water catchment areas by carrying out illegal logging and encroachment of wetlands. We are going to take immediate actions to those found culpable,” said Tobiko.
The former Director of Public Prosecutions also put on notice millers who harvest trees beyond the required quarters, saying their licenses will be revoked.
“Those licenses have been given to you with trust; you are supposed to harvest within the allocated quarters and you are required to replant, and there are those who do not do that and I want to put them on notice if they do not comply I will have their licenses suspended or revoked,” said Tobiko.
He directed the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to crack down retailers and supermarkets that are still using plastic bags to package goods as well as manufacturers who are producing the bags.
He said he will partner with communities that reside within forests to ensure that such forests are preserved.
Following the forceful evictions of the Sengwer community from the Embobut forest, Tobiko said the ministry is preparing a comprehensive report and it will be released when fully compiled.
Handing over to Tobiko, Judy Wakhungu said she is confident that she has left the docket in safe hands as she heads to France as Kenya’s envoy.
“Am extremely satisfied with my performance from 2013 to 2018 we made tremendous strides throughout this sector, am pleased to handover a secure environment and forestry ministry and am very confident that I leave this sector in secure hands,” said Wakhungu.