• Forestry Principal Secretary Gitonga Mugambi said the hotline is managed by a dedicated office in his department.
• He spoke at Kanyonga in Kyeni South, Embu County, during celebrations to mark this year's World Bamboo Day.
The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry has unveiled a 24-hour toll-free number for reporting illegal forest activities.
The hotline - 0800724570 - will operate around the clock and will be used to report cases of logging and charcoal burning in the country.
Speaking on Monday, Forestry Principal Secretary Gitonga Mugambi said the hotline is managed by a dedicated office in his department.
"We have set up a new office that is dealing with cases of illegal logging in our public forests, and as Government, we will not hesitate in taking action against those caught violating the law," Mugambi said while rallying wananchi to report suspected illegal forest activities through the hotline.
He spoke at Kanyonga in Kyeni South, Embu County, during celebrations to mark this year's World Bamboo Day.
PS Mugambi decried escalating illegal logging in parts of the country saying that it was regrettable that while Kenyans were accelerating efforts to raise the country's forest cover to 30 per cent by the year 2032, unscrupulous timber traders were engaged in illegal logging of public forests.
"We will not tolerate continued destruction of our public forests while at the same time encouraging Kenyans to grow 15 billion trees as directed by the President," he warned.
The PS named Narok, Nakuru, Nyeri, Meru, Nyandarua, Uasin Gishu and Baringo as some of the counties that are highly affected by illegal logging.
On cultivation of bamboo, PS Mugambi said the species had been identified as a key enabler of the 30 percent national tree cover programme.
He said this is because of its fast growth and immense socioeconomic as well as environmental and climate action benefits including high carbon sequestration capabilities.
"My Ministry has identified bamboo as a key intervention towards achieving the 30 per cent tree cover strategy by 2032 and is also a key driver towards green growth and climate resilience.
"We are therefore working towards promoting investments in commercial bamboo production, institutional strengthening, value chain promotion and development, publicity, awareness and education so that stakeholders fully understand the full value of bamboo as an investment.
"In this regard, my Ministry targets to establish 150,000 hectares of bamboo in the country," Mugambi said in a speech read on behalf of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry CS, Soipan Tuya.
In her address, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire assured PS Mugambi of the county's active involvement in sustained tree growing activities, in support of the Kenya Kwanza administration's 15 billion national tree growing flagship project.
She said Embu County will continue collaborating with the national government and partners in the tree growing initiative by among other interventions, propagating adequate seedlings to enable it to meet its target of planting 14 million trees annually over the next 10 years.