, BARINGO, Kenya, Aug 29 – The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is considering avenues to allow communities living in semi-arid lands to sustainably utilize the environmentally invasive Mathenge weed, Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko has announced.
Speaking in Baringo County, during a familiarization visit to assess the effects of Prosopis Juliflora (Mathenge), Tobiko said the government, is evaluating ways to allow the sustainable use of the weed by communities in Garissa and Baringo counties among others.
Accompanied by Baringo County Governor Stanley Kiptis, the Cabinet Secretary added that the government, is also pursuing environmentally friendly measures to eradicate the invasive weed.
“As a Government, we are working closely with communities and the County Governments to ensure that the Mathenge weed is managed without any adverse effects to the wider environment,” Tobiko said.
Efforts to facilitate the sustainable utilisation of the Mathenge weed, which grows to a medium tree height, he said will incorporate measures to safeguard forestry resources to avoid potential abuse to leading to illegal logging of other forestry products.
While welcoming Tobiko’s pledge, Baringo Governor Kiptis said his County Government will be entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the central government, aimed at conserving and growing more trees.
The Baringo County Assembly, he added, is already considering a bill geared at providing a grassroots legislative framework for the utilisation of environmental resources including charcoal burning limits.
At an earlier engagement session with Cabinet Secretary Tobiko last March, the Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson and Turkana Governor Joseph Nanok said the CoG had resolved to work with the national government to advance initiatives’ geared at promoting the restoration of forest cover.
The CoG, Nanok said will collaborate with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to prepare a policy paper on logging and measures for both levels of government to adopt in order to control deforestation.