West Pokot Forest Department troubled by forest destruction

The national government imposed a countrywide 90-days logging ban in February
The national government imposed a countrywide 90-days logging ban in February

Forest department in West Pokot County has raised concern over continued forest destruction and logging in the County where the forest cover stands at 4.4%. The figure lies below the targeted 10% due to overreliance on wood fuel, charcoal burning and the illegal logging in the area.

Speaking during the tree planting day at Kaprech forest in Kapenguria, the area County ecosystem conservator, Allan Ongere said the ministry through the Kenya Forest Service had kicked off the tree planting exercise as part of a strategic campaign to increase
the forest cover to 10% and above.
The conservator encouraged the farmers and various institution to plant as many trees as possible, saying his department will provide any technical support for those taking part in tree planting in the County. “All farmers, children, youth and institutions are called upon to go out and plant as many trees as possible in order to double the tree cover in our County,” he said.
He added that the department is further targeting the locals through sensitization on the importance of trees and the need to attain 10% forest cover as required. “It is a basic requirement for a country to attain the required forest cover, but at the same time the landowners need to play a big role and be in the forefront in participation in order for the target to be achieved,” pointed Ongere.
Ongere asked Community Forest Associations (CFAs) to be active in the campaign and encouraged more farmers and institutions to plant trees, pointing out that some of the CFAs are dormant and led to the destruction of forest in their respective areas. He singled out Talau area, saying some people were sneaking into the forest and burning charcoal, saying his officers are alert and soon the culprits will be arrested.
The conservator said a total of 150,000 trees have been planted since the beginning of the raining season and 4,000 trees were planted at Kaprech forest and residents were given free tree seedlings by KFS and the County government.
Speaking during the same occasion, the West Pokot Sub County deputy County commissioner Abdulahi Khaliff warned government officers against taking part in the destruction of the forest. Khaliff said his office has received some of the complains that public officers are using government vehicles in transporting forest produce, saying the government would not condone and severe action will be taken against them if found.