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August 21, 2018

Government extends ban on logging for six months

A KWS officer inside a detroyed section of Kamweti forest in Kirinyaga county. /FILE
A KWS officer inside a detroyed section of Kamweti forest in Kirinyaga county. /FILE

The government has extended the ban on logging in public forests for six more months, Environment CS Keriako Tobiko said on Wednesday.

He said this is in a bid to allow the appointment of the new board of Kenya Forest Service and implementation of the interim reforms.

The ban on logging and extraction of timber from Kenya's forests was imposed on February 24 and was due to lapse on May 24.

But in a statement, Tobiko said: "The extension will also allow the ministry to streamline KFS operations and management of the forestry sector."

Changes in the forestry enforcement agency started with the suspension of director Emilio Mugo on March 12.

Mugo was suspended over the uncontrolled destruction of forests, which a task force formed to study the cause blamed on ineptitude on the part of KFS.

Read: KFS boss Emilio Mugo sacked in changes to curb forest destruction

Also read: Shocked by poor forestry state, Tobiko pushes 'radical changes' in KFS

The task force headed by the Green Belt Movement chairperson Marion Wakanyi noted that KFS is marred by corruption and incompetence.

"These have made it impossible for KFS to tame the destruction of the environment," Wakanyi said.

She spoke during a brief to the Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office in Nairobi last month.

Also read: Forests task force wants KFS board out, lifestyle audit on senior officials

Also read: Tobiko orders KFS to replace officers in forest stations

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