CONSERVATION

Residents urged to protect Kakamega Forest, plant more trees

Drought Management Authority Chairman Raphael Nzomo says wanton deforestation is threatening the most valuable ecosystems

In Summary

• The National Drought Management Authority chairman Raphael Nzomo said destroying the forest hurt effort towards achieving food security. 

• Nzomo said that droughts have become more frequent and severe due to climate change. 

The National Drought Management Authority chairman Raphael Nzomo with forest rangers at the Kakamega Forest on Saturday.
The National Drought Management Authority chairman Raphael Nzomo with forest rangers at the Kakamega Forest on Saturday.
Image: CALISTUS LUCHETU
The National Drought Management Authority chairman Raphael Nzomo with forest rangers at the Kakamega Forest on Saturday.
The National Drought Management Authority chairman Raphael Nzomo with forest rangers at the Kakamega Forest on Saturday.
Image: CALISTUS LUCHETU

Residents living around the Kakamega Forest have been warned against encroaching on and destroying the resource. 

The National Drought Management Authority chairman Raphael Nzomo said destroying the forest will hurt efforts towards achieving food security. 

“When it comes to climate change, nothing can be said to exist in isolation. Severe weather events have become the new norm and natural disasters such as drought or flooding experienced in one area are influenced by other climate events,” Nzomo stated. 

He spoke during the Kakamega Forest marathon on Saturday.   

“I have seen firsthand the ravages that climate change has had on our communities especially those living in arid and semi-arid areas,” Nzomo said

Nzomo said that droughts have become more frequent and severe due to climate change. 

Communities living in arid and semi-arid regions have born the brunt of drought which has quickly been replaced by flooding in areas that receive enhanced rainfall, he said. 

“When we destroy pristine ecosystems like Kakamega Forest the negative effects become more pronounced in areas that are already climatically vulnerable and drought-prone,” Nzomo said

The NDMA boss said that it was a serious indictment on the current generation that over half of the forest cover has been lost in the last forty years.  

He called upon the communities around the forests across the country to guard and keep forests alive on behalf of other Kenyans and the rest of mankind.

“The call for conservation should not be understood as prevention from harnessing but rather finding sustainable ways of using the abundant resources in the forest for the wellbeing of the communities,” he said

Nzomo challenged each individual around the forests to plant at least ten trees every year.  

He praised the organisers of the Kakamega Forest Marathon, saying this was a noble cause that should fully be supported by all stakeholders.