KFS intensifies patrols to safeguard Sh15 billion tree initiative

Trees planted need to be protected as Kenya strives to attain 15 billion planted trees by 2032.

In Summary
  • KFS Chief Conservator of Forest Alex Lemarkoko said that the “Operation Imarisha Misitu” initiative which they had started mid last year received a major boost.
  • Forestry CS Soipan Tuya urges people to teach youth about forestry and environment so that they may become responsible with forests and environment.
Chief Conservator of Forest Alex Lemarkoko speaking at the weekend.
Chief Conservator of Forest Alex Lemarkoko speaking at the weekend.

The Kenya Forest Service has intensified day and night patrols to safeguard trees and forest vegetation as part of the country's commitment to planting 15 billion trees by 2032.

The KFS issued a stern warning, stating that individuals involved in illegal activities such as tree cutting, theft, and destruction of forest vegetation will face the full force of the law.

Chief Conservator of Forest Alex Lemarkoko on highlighted the success of the "Operation Imarisha Misitu" initiative, launched on November 25 last year, with the deployment of 2,664 rangers across all forests nationwide.

“We had a lot of patrols challenges and once we received the additional rangers, work was eased and have been patrolling with ease” he noted.

He was during the celebrations of World Wetlands in Lake Narasha in Timboroa Forest, Uasin Gishu county 

Lemarkoko emphasized the initiative's positive impact on reducing criminal activities like tree felling and unauthorized activities in the forests.

The Chief Conservator of Forest stressed that the efforts to conserve and protect forests will persist without hesitation, regardless of criticism or objections, until the country achieves its tree planting target.

Going further, the CCF warned that there was need to protect the already planted trees in the forests, adding that more patrols and impromptu checkups on different forests will be conducted to ensure that no illegal activity was ongoing.

“We want to assure all our partners that all the trees they were planting will be well guarded. We have strategies to ensure their growth and security of our forests” Lemarkoko said.

He commended President William Ruto’s administration for addressing the challenge of inadequate rangers that KFS faced.

“I also applaud the Community Forest Associations for the roles they play of assisting us to protect, plant and take care of planted seedlings in the forests, just to see we have actualised the government’s wish” he said.

Lemarkoko emphasized that the preservation of wetlands and forests yields mutual benefits for the environment, significantly contributing to the ongoing efforts against climate change.

The Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) highlighted the Kenya Forest Service's commitment to providing technical support to communities and partners, particularly through the establishment of additional tree nurseries.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Soipan Tuya, echoed the importance of a participatory approach in managing forests and wetlands.

Tuya urged everyone to assume responsibility for preserving these crucial resources and emphasized the need to educate the youth about environmental and wetlands conservation. She underscored, "It is essential to instill environmental consciousness in our young people."

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