By Bell Pere
The Narok Forest Service has seized over 10, 000 illegal posts and timber at Olorropil area in Narok North Sub County that had been collected from individual farms without legal permit.
Speaking at his office, Narok ecosystem conservator, Mr Mwai Muraguri said according to the Forest Conservation Act, one must get a legal permit from his office through the local chief’s office to be allowed to cut down a tree.
He said the forest Conservation Act prohibits cutting of indigenous trees like cider and oak even in individual farms as they take over 50 years to mature.
Mr Muraguri further said that the seizing operation will continue throughout the County with an aim of reducing deforestation.
“The officers were on their normal surveillance when they found out that some people were gathering cider posts for sale at Olorropil area. They therefore ambushed the illegal dealers and seized the forest produce,” said Mwai.
Unfortunately, according to Mwai, no person was arrested as all those dealing with the illegal forest produce took off on seeing the officers.
“It is unfortunate that the post dealers are shifting to private farms after we banned any human activities at the Maasai Mau forest ,” said Mwai.
Mr Mwai said cutting down trees for domestic use like charcoal burning and fencing should be done after consulting with the chief and getting a valid licence from his office as per the law.
“We only allow charcoal burning for domestic use but not for sale. Everyone with intention of cutting a tree regardless of whether it is private should notify my office prior to the cutting,” said Mwai.
The officer called on the residents to take advantage of rains to plant more trees in their farms, especially bamboo trees in a bid to attain the 10 percent forest cover as required.
“Trees help in holding soil on the ground, hence prevent soil erosion. Trees are also essential in mitigating mudslides and floods,” he added.