Kenya Forest Service tours forest areas in Baringo

Kenya: The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Chairman, Mr Job Chirchir, together with the Governor of Baringo County, Benjamin Cheboi, have today visited forests in Baringo County to appreciate the status and progress of forest management and conservation efforts and explore areas of mutual cooperation between the Service and the County.

Kenya Forest Service tours forest areas in Baringo
Kenya Forest Service tours forest areas in Baringo Image credit: Kenya Forest Facebook Page

Kenya: The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Chairman, Mr Job Chirchir, together with the Governor of Baringo County, Benjamin Cheboi, have today visited forests in Baringo County to appreciate the status and progress of forest management and conservation efforts and explore areas of mutual cooperation between the Service and the County.

The Chairman and his host visited Mochongoi, Esageri, Narasha and Chemususu Forests, as well as the Tugen Hills, Lakes Baringo and Bogoria, which recently experienced an unprecedented raise in water levels and Kerio Valley, to assess the extent of landscape degradation due to soil erosion.

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Speaking to KFS officers and members of the Community Forest Association (CFA) at Narasha Forest Station, where he was received by the Deputy Regional Forest Conservator for Mau Conservancy, Mr Humphrey Monari, the Chairman thanked them for their cooperation which had seen the planting of trees in areas that had previously been harvested. He encouraged the officers to keep up the good work even as he urged them to work with the CFA to clear the backlogs.

The Chairman assured the KFS officers that the Board would prioritize their welfare issues, noting that he was aware that there was an under-staffing challenge at KFS, which he said will be addressed soon with the proposed recruitment of more officers to boost staff numbers.

On his part, the Governor assured the Chairman that the Baringo County Government would continue to collaborate with KFS in forest conservation as well as in improving community livelihoods. He thanked the CFA for their commitment to work with KFS to protect forests even as they draw their livelihood benefits from the forest.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the National Alliance of Community Forests Associations (NACOFA) Treasurer, Ms Tecla Chumba, informed the Chairman that CFAs had played a great role in assisting KFS with with the establishment, management and protection of forests.

Image credit: Kenya Forest Facebook Page

She assured the Chairman that the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) had proven to be a game changer in the establishment of plantations country-wide. She emphasized that with proper management and supervision, PELIS will continue to be instrumental in assisting the Service to clear its backlog even as the community continues to benefit through the growing of food crops for food security and livelihood improvement.

In response, the Chairman assured CFAs that the Board would ensure that the mechanisms and regulations put in place to manage PELIS strictly adhere to warning those who abuse the scheme that stern action will be taken against them.

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