Vihiga County Government is putting in place measures that will see close to 48 community forests fenced.
The move will help prevent the forests from human encroachment which has been singled out as an endangering factor to the existence of the forests.
The exercise will be done in two phases with the First Phase expected to be done in the 2019/2020 financial year, whereas the second Phase will be accomplished in the 2020/2021 financial year.
Speaking to the press in Mbale, Deputy Governor Dr. Patrick Saisi said the County will collaborate with Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Rhino Ark charitable trust to ensure that the move is accomplished.
Saisi reminded of the need for the public to take a front seat in guarding of community forests, if measures put in place by the government and charitable organizations were to materialize.
The DG explained that fencing of the forests once realized, will ensure that indigenous trees which are facing extinction are protected for posterity.
“Most of the indigenous trees being threatened with extinction have more than one beneficial value to our communities.
For instance, there are some which have medicinal value whereas others play a pivotal role in traditional rites of passage like circumcision in the Tiriki Community,” he added.
Meanwhile, Saisi revealed that mapping of the community forests by a technical team has already begun before the commencement of the fencing exercise.
He revealed that after mapping is done, public engagement will follow to enable the surrounding communities know the importance of protecting the forests.
By Isaiah Nayika