• Loggers are to plant more mangroves whenever they harvest the mature ones to ensure the forest cover remains unaffected.
• They are also to obtain permits of operation from the KFS office in Lamu to prove they have adequate experience in mangrove harvesting.
The ban on mangrove logging could be re-imposed if loggers continue to flout the regulations governing the harvesting of the trees, Kenya Forest Conservator Lamu Francis Maneno has said.
over 60 per cent of Kenya's mangrove forest cover lies in Lamu county.
Last year in February, the government lifted the ban on mangrove logging in the county but gave conditions under which loggers were to operate to ensure sustainable harvesting of the mangroves.
Among other conditions, the loggers are to plant more mangroves whenever they harvest the mature ones to ensure the forest cover remains unaffected.
They are also to obtain permits of operation from the KFS office in Lamu to prove they have adequate experience in mangrove harvesting.
They are required to prove they have a clear market for the logs once harvested.
Speaking in Lamu town on Wednesday, however, Maneno said some loggers have been secretly conducting the trade without obtaining permits and replanting upon harvesting.
He said the move will definitely cause a reduced forest cover of mangrove which could in turn lead to the re-imposition of the logging ban.
“We are having quite an issue with unlicensed loggers and those who have refused to replant once they harvest. That is a crime punishable by law,” he said.
In response, Lamu Mangrove Cutters Association chairperson Abdulrahman Aboud accused the government of delaying the issuance of logging permits.
He said many lives are affected as mangrove logging is among the key economic activities in Lamu.
“Lamu has hundreds of mangrove loggers out of which only 50 have been issued with the logging permits. That's like a drop in the ocean. People have nothing to survive on. Let them speed up this processes so that lives can resume normalcy,” Aboud said.
Lamu receives more than Sh5 million monthly returns from mangrove sales.
More than 30,000 families depend on mangrove logging for a living.
Edited by R.Wamochie