Laxity among KFS officials blamed for unabated charcoal business in Baringo
Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers in Baringo have been blamed for laxity in apprehending those engaging in the illegal charcoal business in the lowland parts of Marigat and along the Kerio Valley zone.
Baringo County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Devolution, Public Service and Administration Scholar Kimeli pointed out that the logging and burning of charcoal has taken centre stage in the affected areas as the concerned authorities turn a blind eye.
Kimeli revealed that the harvesters were also using major highways in the county to transport charcoal and other illegal products up to neighboring towns of Nakuru and Eldoret without them being arrested and prosecuted.
She stated that such illegal transportation should stop because it was taking back the gains made by stakeholders in conserving the environment in the county for the sake of the present and future generations.
The CEC member raised the concern during a county tree planting campaign held at Ensoo Spring in Ewalel Chapchap ward of Baringo Central Sub County.
Her Health counterpart Dr Richard Rotich who represented governor Stanley Kiptis at the event echoed the sentiments noting that communities living on the lowlands were actively engaging in illegal charcoal business and destruction of natural resources more than those living on the highlands.
Dr Rotich said that residents have now resorted to burning charcoal from noxious weed like prosopis Juliflora famously known as Mathenge which would have played a crucial role in providing the necessary vegetation canopy needed in checking massive recurrent erosion and flooding in those areas.
He urged KFS to team up with other security apparatus as well as the county leadership in curbing the menace through devising effective system of controlling such businesses.
“We are telling our KFS officers to be vigilant enough to reduce that commercial harvesting of our trees,” he said.
Ewalel Chapchap MCA Peter Kebut noted that the trees being burnt for charcoal were being harvested from local indigenous forests.
He stated that the matter should be given the seriousness it deserve or else the county will soon be faced with desertification and subsequently drying up of water sources like rivers, streams and springs.