The high demand for timber and charcoal has led to the widespread destruction of sections of the natural forests in Marakwet west.
Illegal loggers currently targeting the indigenous Podo trees for timber and cedar for fencing and building posts have invaded parts of Kokwongoi, Kabomo,Toropket and Busheshoo forests.
According to a United Nations Environment Programme report, Kenya losses close to 70,000 hectares of forest each year illegal logging
Speaking during a tour of the region, Kemboi Jeptoo, a forest officer said that conservation of forests is a collective responsibility and cannot be left to the Kenya forest Service [KFS] alone.
He added that KFS and the security personnel are working together to find all culprits implicated in the illegal logging.
He expressed concern that there are some chiefs and assistant chiefs who collude with the loggers, arguing it will be easier to apprehend culprits if the chiefs were not involved in the vice.
Jeptoo, noted that unlike in the past, when people took fallen trees, currently they fell trees and ferry them away.
The Forest Officer urged the chiefs and assistant chiefs to be more vigilant and also keep away from abetting logging.
By Rennish Okong’o