Kenya: KFS Fires Several Forest Officers Linked to Logging

Trees cut in the Maasai Mau Forest.
28 February 2018

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has fired several forest officers for abetting forest destruction and logging.

In a press statement, the board of directors said the changes were effected in response to instructions from Deputy President William Ruto and Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko.

Among those who have been interdicted are Chief Inspector, Enforcement and Compliance in Boni Forest, the Head of Conservancy Eastern in Irangi Forest Station and the Officer in Charge Samburu County.

Others are the officers in Jilore and Sokoke stations for abetting charcoal production and illegal extraction of hardwood.

Earlier this year, two other officers were interdicted for failure to adhere to the requirements of their duties.

They include those who were in charge of Cheptais and Kaboiyo stations.

STEP ASIDE

The board has also asked the Head of Plantations and Enterprise Division to step aside to allow for review of complaints from the public.

Ten other staff are among those who have been dismissed from the service recently for taking part in illegal forestry activities.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment Tuesday gazetted a taskforce to look into resource management and ongoing activities in the Kenya's major forests.

Mr Tobiko said the taskforce will investigate and prepare a detailed report with recommendations to address illegal activities in forests in 14 days.

"The taskforce will conduct their affairs in the open and with transparency," he said.

The taskforce will be chaired by the Green Belt Movement chairperson Marion Wakanyi Kamau and Environment Institute of Kenya Vice-Chairperson Linda Munyao.

Other members are Rhino Ark Charitable Trust executive director Christian Lambrechts, Kenya Association of Manufacturers chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga and Kenya Water Towers Agency chairman Isaac Kalua.

Mr Tobiko said the wanton destruction of forest covers, water towers and logging of forest trees is alarming.

"The illegal activities happening in our forests are extraordinary situations that need extraordinary measures," said Mr Tobiko

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