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Environment CS warns illegal grazers in forests in Laikipia

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has ordered the removal of livestock being grazed illegally at Mukogodo forest in Laikipia.
Tobiko said that there was intelligence to the effect that some people have been using the indigenous forest as their hideout for stolen animals and have highly contributed to its destruction.
He said that the community protected forest have for years remained virgin with clear structures and taboos guiding its protection but since illegal herders from other counties started migrating into to it, there has been no order of conserving the natural resource.
The CS who was speaking over the weekend at Ol ArJiju Primary School when his ministry delivered materials to support alternative livelihood to the communities neighbouring the forest said that the illegal herders have been using the forest as a commercial ranch where they fatten their stolen animals for sale.
He said that this would not be tolerated and called on the owners of the animals to start packing and leave immediately.
Tobiko said that there was no single time when the Maasai grazed in the forest during rainy season and when they did so during drought, there were set guidelines on the number of livestock and where specifically they would be grazed in the forest.
These rules he said have not been followed since those in the forest at this time are illegal herders who have travelled from far places and have consulted neither the government nor the local Community Forest Association who are the custodians of the forest by laws.
The CS said that there would be a mass tree planting at the start of every rainy season in the forest to reclaim its glory.
Laikipia North MP Sarah Lekorere said that residents have remained calm despite the invasion by the herders in the forest and this ensured there is peace in the area, something that was different some few months ago.
Lekorere urged the resident to support the government in making sure that the forest is protected and use the resources provided to make a profit from it through the different user rights as provided in the Forest Management plan.
She called on the President to remember the region and at least appoint senior government official from Laikipia North since they have been left behind for long.

By Martin Munyi

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