The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers managing South Nandi forest in Nandi County have been accused of colluding with loggers to harvest forest illegally.
The accusation comes at a time when the County officials with the help of members of the public arrested a logger with timber in Chepkongen near Kamaindi in Kobujoi, Aldai Sub County.
Making the accusations, CEC Environment, Water & Natural Resources Dr. John Kipkorir Chumo claimed that unscrupulous KFS officials were colluding with influential timber merchants to deplete the environment.
He particularly lamented that the forest cover was being depleted each day due to the haphazard harvesting of trees from the local forest, saying this will impact negatively on the environment.
While noting that the current trend was worrying, Dr. Chumo threatened to stop cooperating with the KFS officials in the area and demanded for their transfer.
“The officers continue to collude with timber merchants by selling indigenous trees at a cost of Shs. 16,000 per tree. This trend will lead to forest depletion and drying of water sources in the area if the situation is not arrested. Over 100 indigenous trees have been cut down in South Nandi forest and this is unacceptable”, warned Dr. Chumo.
Dr. Chumo thanked the public for providing the information.
The County Executive also asked the national government to fully devolve forestry functions to counties for better management.
“Devolving forestry functions will ensure that Kenya Forest service supports County Governments in identifying forest potential while enhancing individual and institutional capacities of the county governments through capacity building to enable them develop and manage the local resources”, added Dr. Chumo.