24 February 2018

Kenya: DP Ruto Orders End to Logging in Forests

Photo: Daily Nation
Trees cut in the Maasai Mau Forest.

Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday suspended logging in all forests in the country for the next three months as water levels in major rivers countrywide continued to drop at alarming levels.

The DP said the ban would give the government adequate time to find a solution to the drying rivers.


He said the situation had gotten to worrying levels and he asked the Environment Ministry to come up with solutions.

Mr Ruto urged Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to come up with a framework within 14 days to deal with illegal logging and destruction of water catchment areas.

He spoke on Saturday at Namwela Boys High School in Sirisia, Bungoma County, where he was the chief guest during a fundraiser.

The DP said the country could face an acute water shortage if people do not stop felling trees in forests.

"I am ordering today the stopping of felling of trees in all state and community forests over the next 90 days. We cannot continue with this yet our rivers are drying up at alarming levels," said Mr Ruto.


Rivers continue to shrink following a prolonged dry period and inconsistent rainfall.

In Baringo, for instance, rivers that have served residents in Tiaty and Baringo North for years have dried up, forcing them to walk for kilometres looking to get water.

Some pupils in the region miss afternoon lessons so they can join their parents in the long search for water. This must stop, DP Ruto said.

"The misuse of our forests must not continue. The availability of water and the country's food security is being threatened," he added.

Mr Ruto said the country had received inadequate rainfall over the last three years, worsening the situation.


The Deputy President said the ban on logging covers all forests.

Illegal logging and invasion of forests to build homes have contributed to deforestation.

Mau Forest has been one of the most affected as hundreds continue to invade it.

When he took office last week, Mr Tobiko warned corrupt Kenya Forest Service workers that they would be dealt with.

He said he would work tirelessly to ensure all forests were protected.

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