Likuyani MP Dr. Enoch Kibunguchy has strongly opposed plans by the National Environment Management Authority in collaboration with the County Government of Kakamega to hive off part of forest land in the area for alleged agricultural activities.
Addressing residents in his constituency Kibunguchy said the recent advert by NEMA and County government of Kakamega in the local dailies about hiving of 460 acres of land in Turbo and Nzoia forests in Likuyani to be used for agricultural development was unacceptable.
The legislator alleged that there are some top government officials particularly in Kakamega county government who have been salivating for the forest land in Likuyani and they are using NEMA as a bridge to get opportunity to grab the land for their selfish gain.
Kibunguchy vowed to oppose the move at all cost saying the planned Agricultural Development programme by the county government was just a ploy to fool residents.
“I want to tell governor Oparanya and his government that their tricks will never succeed, I will strongly protect the two forests and not even a single acre will be given to them,” said Kibunguchy.
The legislator argued that the plans were aimed at benefiting the rich at the expense of poor landless families from the area.
He said he will only accept if the land will be used to resettle thousands of landless residents from his constituency.
Elsewhere Kibunguchy has criticized the decision by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to ban the growing of maize in forest.
He said the move was a threat to the food security in the country as many communities living around forests have been relying on them to cultivate maize and help in ensuring food security in the country.
He promised to table a motion in parliament to compel the ministry to rescind the move and allow farmers from maize growing areas to continue planting them in the forests.
“It’s funny that the government is telling our people here in Likuyani to plant irish potatoes instead of maize. This is impractical. Each region should be allowed to grow crops they are used to, but not to tell us to plant Irish potatoes,” said Kibunguchy.