NAIROBI, April 30, 2018 – Kenya Forest Service (KFS) management and the board should be held to account for the depletion of forest cover in the country, a task-force has said.
Headed by the Green Belt Movement Chairperson Marion Wakanyi Kamau, the task-force, which was formed in March to help the country restore its depleted forest cover, noted that KFS is marred by corruption and incompetence.
“These have made it impossible for KFS to tame the destruction of the environment,” said Ms. Kamau during a brief to the Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office in Nairobi today.
Moreover, the task-force said the Forest Service is characterized by the lack accountability, unethical behaviors and limited capacity. As a result of the illegal settlement of squatters in some forests, the report said the country was fast losing its indigenous trees such as cedar.
While commending the team for coming up with the report, Mr. Ruto noted that environmental issues have not only become national but also international concern that calls for “coherent and punitive measures” to tame degeneration.
“I commit to you that the report’s recommendations will be implemented. I appreciate the fact that some decisions therein would be pretty difficult to make but they will have to be done,” said the Deputy President.
Going forward, Mr Ruto said the government may employ the services of the National Youths Service and the KFS in an aggressive replanting of indigenous trees for at least three years “to help our forest cover regenerate”.
The implementation matrix of the task-force report is expected to be presented to the President in 10-days’ time.
The Government plans to have at least 10 percent forest cover by 2030, a move the Deputy President says is part of the measures being undertaken to mitigate climate change.
Present in the meeting were Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, Environment PS Charles Sunkuli, among others.