, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko has raised an alarm on the over exploitation of water resources from Mt Kenya rivers that is adversely affecting forest conservation efforts in the area.
Speaking after undertaking an aerial and ground survey across the Mt Kenya region, Tobiko says there is massive over exploitation of upstream water resources especially in Sagana river.
He however discounted earlier media reports alleging that suspected illegal loggers are breaching the current logging moratorium.
“However, there’s massive over exploitation upstream of water resources. In Sagana river, there are about 75 intake points and 45 on Thegu river which is disproportionately high,” Tobiko said.
Tobiko, at the same time has warned suspected illegal loggers against breaching the current logging moratorium.
The suspected loggers have been sneaking to Gazetted Forests around Mt Kenya and sneaking out timber logs to saw millers in the vicinity.
Tobiko added that security surveillance by a multi-agency unit has been beefed up to nab unscrupulous individuals undertaking illegal retrieval of forest products.
At a stop over at the Kabaru Forest Station in Nyeri County, Tobiko warned that suspects undertaking illicit activities in gazetted forests will be dealt with the full force of the law.
Recent media reports had indicated that just months after the government banned logging to restore water levels in the, the vice had bounced back at Kabaru forest in Mt Kenya, mainly targeting the red cedar trees.
“Protecting our environment and forests is a shared responsibility that we shall relentlessly pursue to make our cities, among other urban and rural towns, environmental centres of excellence,” Tobiko reiterated.
Tobiko reiterated that the six-month extension on the earlier 90-day moratorium was still in force. The moratorium extension issued at the end of May, he said will remain in force as efforts to streamline the management of the local forestry sector get into high gear. This follows the recent appoint of a substantive KFS Board of Management.