By Brighton Makori
Kisii Kenya 05 June 2021………..It has been noted that rampant degradation and logging at Nyangweta forest in South Mugirango constituency in Gucha South Sub county ,Kisii county is affecting the environment.
Addressing residents and stakeholders at Nyangweta forest during the World Environment day, Kisii County Acting Energy, Water and Environment Executive Committee Member, Amos Andama he said that there is need to protect the forest .
Andama who represented Governor James Ongwae he urged residents to shun planting Eucalyptus on wetlands, along riparian areas, saying the trees dried up rivers.
Consequently, the CEC has appealed to area residents to protect the forest and report people who cut the trees illegally for arrest and prosecution to deter others.
He added that the county government has started to cut eucalyptus trees to comply with the executive order which the governor gave last year and challenged county residents to plant indigenous and environmentally friendly trees to conserve the environment.
“The County will cut trees and give them to prison and learning Institutions and the owners of the trees will pay the cost, so it’s upon those with trees to speed up and cut them before we take an action ” Andama said.
The CEC noted that the increasing population and destructive human activities were leading to adverse climate change and threatened the country’s attainment of Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG’s) by 2030.
“ Let us join the race to restore the ecosystem for posterity. We should stop polluting water with waste. It endangers human and aquatic lives” Andama said.
County National Environment Management Authority Director ( NEMA), Leonard Ofula , challenged residents to protect and conserve the soil to curb soil erosion, which, he noted, polluted rivers alongside agrochemicals used by farmers and reduced the soil’s fertility.
Ofula said the county will involve youths to protect the environment and appealed to residents to plant eucalyptus trees away from rivers and wetlands to protect the water sources.
County Ecosystem Conservator, Alfred Kurgat, said Kenya Forest Service has planted given 15000 seedlings to be planted in the forest, adding the service has planted 100,000 seedlings in learning Institutions across the county.
The Conservator appealed to residents to embrace indigenous and environmentally friendly trees, adding plans are underway for the Kenya Forest Service to assist residents plant bamboo trees.
“ Bamboo trees retain water better than eucalyptus trees. They can be used to make various products and earn residents more income than gum trees” Kurgat said.
Area Mp, Silvanus Osoro urged stakeholders in the forest- Kisii University, Kenya Forest Service and Kisii county government to protect it and utilize their portions to benefit residents.
The Mp said he will mobilize residents to repossess the portions if the stakeholders fail to conserve and use them for the purposes they intended.
The Kisii County government acquired part of the land to construct a sugarcane factory while Kisii University was given part of it to open a branch for Research.
Deputy County Commissioner, Jackson olejuta said the area has two gazzetted forests- Nyangweta and Ndonyo and appealed to the stakeholders to protect them to curb logging.
He said recently they impounded some woods in the forest which criminals wanted to ferry away and took them to the police station and urged residents to be vigilant.