Officials from West Pokot county government yesterday impounded rose wood timber worth sh. 6 million at Sina centre in Pokot South Sub County.
The officers from department of environment and natural resources recovered the 417 pieces of timber hidden in a forest at Sina- Chepkworimso road. The timber is at the county headquarters.
Speaking to press, county chief officer in in-charge of environment and natural resources, Peter Adoki said they received information from members of public that the timber was being transported in a security lorry.
“We received information from members of the public that a government lorry was transporting the timber towards Kapenguria. Immediately we laid an ambush along the road but the culprits suspected to be security officers got a hint and they decided to offload the lorry and drove away towards Elgeyo Marakwet border,” he said.
Adoki said they laid an ambush along the road for two days but they never managed to arrest those who were in possession of the timber.
The officer said as a county they will not allow few cartels to continue enriching themselves with endangered species.
“We need to preserve these species for the future generation. Rose wood and cider are the most endangered species in this county,” he said.
The discovery comes barely two weeks after a security lorry was detained in the county while transporting sandalwood to unknown destination.
Adoki has also raised concern over charcoal business in the county.
He said Lorries transporting sand in the county are now engaging in charcoal business instead of sand.
“Those engaged in charcoal business are now using sand transporters to transport charcoal. They load first charcoal on the lorry cover it with polythene paper and then cover on top with sand,” he said.
He said they were able to nab a lorry transporting ten bags of charcoal hidden in the sand.
The officer said they are going to inspect all lorries transporting sand in the county to ensure that they are not transporting banned products from the county.
“We are going to scan and monitor every truck transporting sand. We appeal to those few law breakers involved that we are on your backs. Last two weeks we impounded three Lorries ferrying timber and we shall not joke around with those destroying trees,” he said.
The Chief Officer asked residents to be vigilant and report anyone dealing with the business in the area.
Adoki said as a county they are still going to enforce the law even after the 90 days moratorium period ban elapse.
“We are going to be tough on the traders engaging in this illegal business and going
against the 90 days moratorium. There is no transit of timber and we shall not accept charcoal burning till the ban period elapses. Rosewood is not for consumption and export but kept for future generations,” he said.
By John Saina