February 17th 2018

Society / Environment

KFS inches closer to attaining 10% forest cover

Mau forest complex which measures approximately 400,000 hectares and covers Nakuru, Kericho, Baringo, Narok and Bomet counties is the largest of the five main water towers in the country.

By Jackson Okataamboleokata@gmail.comThursday, 02 Feb 2017 11:55 EAT

The Kenya Forest Service has made tremendous strides towards the attainment of the 10% forest cover recommended as per international standards, a senior assistant director of the service has said.

Speaking in Nakuru town today after receiving the KFS 10th anniversary torch from Nairobi ecosystem conservator Mary Mwai , Cosmas Ikiugu who is the head of the Mau- conservancy said that they have reclaimed over 27000 hectares which had been previously been encroached with the Mau Forest Complex . Ikiugu said that  the service has also managed to rehabilitate over 80,000 hectares of forest, replanted many other hectares and formed over 41 community forest associations.

The senior assistant director observed that  in 2007  there was a serious problem of forest destruction whereby 100,000 hectares within the Mau complex had been destroyed. Mau forest complex  which measures approximately 400,000 hectares and covers Nakuru, Kericho, Baringo, Narok and Bomet counties is the largest of the five main water towers in the country. There are over 12 main rivers which from the conservancy into different lakes in the country.

Formation of CFAs according to Ikiugu has led to  reduction of forest destruction leading to increase in the volume of water from the main rivers within the Mau forest water tower.He however said that fires remain a challenge especially during the dry season.The director therefore called on members of the public to desist from lighting fires recklessly as these impacts negatively on forests.

Kenya Forest Service rangers he said have been put on high alert to ensure that those who access forests without authority are arrested and prosecuted. The KFS 10th anniversary torch that was handed over to Nairobi region by the KFS director general Emillio Mugo, will rotate in various regions before being received by Environment CS Pro. Judi Wakhungu in Nairobi next week.

The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County

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