9 September 2011

Kenya: Greenbelt Sounds Alarm Over Destruction of Two Laikipia Forests

The Green Belt movement has raised the alarm over the wanton destruction of Marmanet and Ol Arabel forests in Laikipia. The movement's senior projects officer Lilian Muchungi warned that the forest is on the verge of becoming extinct . She cautioned that the region isat the risk of facing an acute water shortage if the trend continues.

Muchungu blamed the massive destruction on charcoal burners and illegal loggers. "There is a looming crisis at the forest if the menace is not controlled immediately. Illegal loggers have moved to the forest where they are now cutting down indigenous trees while the government watches," she said.

She regretted that thousands of indigenous tress which have been in the forest for between three and four decades have now been cut down as a result of human encroachment.

Speaking when the organization officials toured the forests yesterday where they came face to face with the destruction, Muchungi regretted that charcoal burners were the worst contributors to the degradation of the forest. "They even burn and ferry charcoal in full glare of the police and members of the public while the government watched. What will happen if the trend continues for the next few months? She posed.

The official warned that the four main rivers which the forests serve as the source were now on the verge of drying up. The Rivers include Muktan, Ewaso Nyiro, Sandai and Ol Arabel.

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