Ruto defends government’s move to lift logging ban
President William Ruto has defended the government's move to lift the logging ban in government forests imposed six years ago.
Speaking on Sunday, July 2, 2023, in Molo, Ruto claimed that mature trees were decaying in the forests, yet the country was importing timber at the moment.
"Miti inaoza huku msituni, na watu wanahangaika hawana mbao, mnaona ile ujinga iko hii Kenya? Tumetoa ile moratorium ilikuwa imewekwa ndio miti ile iko tayari iweze kukatwa. Mtu yeyote atanunua 'furniture' kutoka nchi za nje, tutamlipisha ushuru kwa sababu tunataka hizo vitu zote zitengenezwe hapa nchini. (Trees are decaying in the forest and people are struggling to get timber. You see the foolishness? We have lifted the ban so that we can harvest mature trees. Whoever imports furniture will be taxed because we want all that to be made in the country)," Ruto said.
In May, Forestry Principal Secretary Ephantus Kimotho said the logging ban will be lifted soon in order to pave the way for planting trees in government forests.
“We have exotic trees which are normally harvested upon reaching their maturity stage and those are the ones whose ban will be lifted so that others can immediately be planted during this rainy season,” Kimotho said.
Ruto's administration is currently pushing to plant at least 15 billion across the country in a bid to restore forest cover in the next 10 years.
“The government’s commitment to plant and grow 15 billion trees is a significant step towards achieving 30 per cent tree cover by 2032 and mitigating negative impact of climate change,” said Kimotho.
On Saturday, July 1, 2023, President Ruto led a tree-planting exercise in Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu Counties.
"In Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet, presided over the 7th Edition of the Kaptagat Annual Tree Planting — part of the Government’s agenda of planting 15 billion trees in the next 10 years — to respond to climate change," Ruto posted on Twitter.