Consumers back Uhuru on Mau Forest evictions
NAIROBI, KENYA: Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to form an inter-ministerial working group on re-afforestation and reclamation of all riparian land, either developed or undeveloped.
The federation is also calling for demolition of buildings erected on riparian land and prosecution of those involved in plundering the country’s forests.
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“Our attention is drawn to the ongoing relocation of families in Mau Forest. We are concerned at the continued escalation of political innuendos meant to either condemn and or defeat the exercise. We urge Kenyans of goodwill to support the exercise, which initiative must be carried out professionally and in a humane way,” said Stephen Mutoro, COFEK’s Secretary General.
He said that if Mau Forest and other key water towers are not saved, Kenyans must prepare for a steep socio-economic plunge as well as an endless civil strife over depleted and unsustainable water resources.
“Matching resources ought to be allocated to support this endeavor. We urge relevant agencies not to only focus on Mau Forest but reclaim and enhance surveillance on all water towers and catchment areas. As evictions are done, Kenya Forest Service (KFS) should be on the front-line on re-afforestation measures,” Mutoro said.
He continued: “Double standards must also be avoided. Action on the business people who used government trucks and other means to plunder our forests before, during and after the moratorium on harvesting trees from public forests need to be brought to book.”
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He called on the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji to move fast and prosecute the real perpetrators of this heinous act against humanity.
“To undertake this exercise, we propose radical changes at the National Construction Authority, National Environment Management Authority and the Water Resources Authority. Coming at a time over 40 people have died in Japan over extreme temperatures, it is time we must all take climate change seriously,” Mutoro said.
He urge media houses to dedicate part of their print space and airtime on creating awareness on the emerging signs and consequences of an adverse climate change which Kenya is helplessly staring at.
“We urge Parliament to enact legislation that would heavily penalize anyone found culpable of willfully destroying and depleting our forest cover,” Mutoro said.
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