Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in collaboration with Mara Elephant Project (MEP) has trained fourteen community rangers to compliment security officers in safeguarding Natural resources.
Speaking during the passing out ceremony held in Loita ward, Narok South Sub County, the area Deputy County Commissioner Felix Kisalu said the trained rangers would help in protecting Loita forest water tower ecological assets.
“The rangers have undergone six weeks intensive training and we have confidence in them that they will deliver services as required. They will complement the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya Wildlife Service officers.,” said the DCC.
He observed that Loita forest is one of the indigenous forests in the county with minimal destruction and a home of thousands of fauna and flora species hence should be guarded with fervor.
The Deputy Commissioner sounded a warning to people who illegally enter the forest to cut trees saying their days were numbered.
“Anyone found falling trees from the forest will be arrested and charged in court of law. We will not sit back to watch our forests being destroyed by a few selfish men,” said the DCC.
The function also attended by Kenya Water Towers Board Chairman Dr Julius Malombe saw two women and twelve men, all from the Loita Community, given powers to work with the KWS rangers to protect the forest.
Malombe said his department will continue investing in community driven conservations initiatives in Loita and Maasai Mau forest area to preserve the mega water catchment areas.
“I congratulate you on this day of your passing out because the community and the government has given you an added responsibility of taking care of their natural resources. We will continue working with the community to protect our water catchment areas,” he said.
Narok Ecosystem Conservator Mwai Muraguri said it is a fact that Loita, Nyakweri, Olposimoru and Transmara blocks of Maasai Mau forest are very important catchment areas for rivers flowing to Maasai Mara game reserve and to neighbouring countries.
He however lamented that due to human activities in the forest, the forest cover has been dwindling posing threat to the environment.
By Ann Salaton