Kenya Forest Services (KFS) national enforcement Commandant Alex Lemarkoko has led a multi-agency security team, community members and university students in a tree planting exercise at Porro area in Samburu central sub County.
More than 7,000 tree seedlings were planted as the community takes advantage of the ongoing rains with a target of planting 15,000 tree seedlings in forests, public institutions and private land to increase forest cover.
Mr Lemarkoko lauded families that had illegally settled in Kirisia Forest for vacating voluntarily since January 2020.
He further warned pockets of illegal settlers who are still living in Kirisia forest to move out voluntarily or face forceful eviction.
“In December 2019, the community agreed to vacate the forest voluntarily and majority have already left. However, there are a few families who are being cheated that they can’t move out and I want to tell them they will be forcefully evicted,” he said.
He said that after everyone has vacated, more trees will be planted to replenish the tree cover and conservation efforts boosted.
Naramat Community Forest association chairman Douglous Leboiyare and the region’s university students’ association chairperson Jacob Lemeteki asked communities to plant trees and conserve forests in the county.
“I appeal to our community to spearhead forest conservation and also ensure that we plant many trees in our homes,” Lemeteki said.
Mr Leboiyare lauded politicians in the region for not politicising the government’s eviction directive against people who illegally settled in Kirisia forest.
Mr Lemeteki asked Kenya Forest Service officers to conduct an operation to evict illegal settlers out of the forest in a humane manner.
By Robert Githu