Likuyani residents have been urged to follow government regulations before cutting down trees as a key step to boost forest cover in the area.
Speaking during a tree planting exercise in Likuyani ward, area forest manager Titus Mue said the government through Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has put down regulations which are widely circulated that prohibit residents from reckless felling of trees.
Mue also warned that the government will not tolerate individuals who illegally cut trees in government gazetted forests. He said people violating laid down government forests regulations will be prosecuted in courts of law.
“We will not allow a few selfish individuals to destroy our forests which play a key part in ensuring we live in a healthy environment,” he said.
Mue said the law that restricts individuals from cutting down trees in their farms should guide everyone.
“Anyone who desires to cut a tree in his farm should seek a permit from Kenya Forest Service but those who will violate this law will be handled accordingly,” Mue warned.
The KFS official clarified that the main intention of the forest law is not to stop locals from cutting their trees but meant to restrict reckless felling down of trees and also ensure that the law limiting tree cutting in government forest is followed.
“KFS law on tree cutting is not intended to stop locals from using their trees for various purposes but to give guidelines on sustainable use of trees in our environment,” Mue advised.
At the same time, Mue challenged the locals to aggressively plant trees in their farms as an effort to attain the ten percent forest cover requirement. He said the tree planting campaign will help in addressing the climate change crisis that has threatened lives.
He said the KFS is partnering with stakeholders to ensure tree seedlings are available and affordable to individuals, public and private institutions. Mue also urged individuals to use this long rain season to plant trees.
Mue further called on the residents to work closely with KFS so that they can benefit from tree planting and nurturing knowledge.
“You should work closely with us so that you can benefit from up-to-date relevant skills on tree planting,” he said.