, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – The task force formed to get to the root of the depletion of Kenya’s forest cover has found the board and management of the Kenya Forest Service liable.
When it presented its findings to Deputy President William Ruto on Monday morning, the task force attributed the poor management of Kenya’s green resources to corruption and ineptitude at the KFS.
The task force was later on Monday expected to handover its findings to Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriko Tobiko.
The task force which was gazetted into existence on February 26 was formed in response to Kenya’s depleted forest cover.
Its 30-day term within which it was charged with investigating and making recommendations on the management of forests in the country was extended by a further 30 days on March 30.
The task force was chaired by Marion Wakanyi Kamau, chair of the Green Belt Movement board which the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai founded with others.
The task force also included Linda Munyao who is the Vice-Chairperson of the Environment Institute of Kenya, Christian Lambrecht of the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust, Phyllis Wakiaga who is the CEO of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Dr. Isaac Kalua who chairs the Kenya Water Towers Agency, Duncan Kimani of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Ernest Nadome of the Central Organisation of Trade Union, and advocates Adil Khawaja, Gideon Solonka Kilakoi and Faith Waguthi Waigwa.
They were specifically tasked with determining the scale of illegal logging, destruction, degradation and encroachment of public and community forests, water towers and other catchment areas; reviewing the procedures, qualification and conditions for licensing of saw millers to determine their adequacy, fairness and appropriateness.
They were also tasked with determining the institutional and technical capacity of the Kenya Forest Service and reviewing the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016 and other related written laws to enhance penalties for contravening the provisions of the Act and related written laws.
Also for review was the statutory and regulatory regime governing charcoal burning trade.