West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has cautioned the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) against issuing permits for people to sell and cut trees in the County. Lonyangapuo said that he will arrest the officers sent to issue permits to cut trees in the area leading to the destruction of trees. He said logging has contributed the forest cover in the County to be 4.4%, below the 10% forest cover requirement.
He was speaking in Kapenguria while launching 150,000 tree seedlings distribution exercise across 20 wards, schools, churches and youth groups for the conservation of the environment in the County. He reiterated that he will arrest those who are sent by the Kenya Forest Service to cut trees. “Those coming from Nairobi to cut trees here will face the wrath,” said Lonyangapuo.
He said that KFS claims that the permits for cutting trees are not issued by County Government. He said they have used Kshs 5 million for the program for residents to plant and protect the land mass in the County and curb soil erosion, to help increase the forest cover and to conserve water towers in the region. He urged residents to plant trees, saying it will also help curb the landslides which are prone in the area.
He dismissed lies being propagated in the County that when one plants trees the land will be taken, adding that the County government has put in place measures to improve the forest cover percentage. “We want the County to be green, to avert challenges of the climate and help conserve water towers,” he said. He further warned residents against cultivating on riparian land.