By Linah Musangi
Several Lorries ferrying charcoal were intercepted and taken to Mwingi police station, following a directive by the Governor of Kitui Charity Kaluki Ngilu and Kitui County commissioner Boaz Cherutich banning charcoal burning and sand harvesting in the county.
Governor Charity Ngilu and County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich had issued a statement banning all charcoal burning and sand harvesting in the County, to curb massive destruction of trees and rivers in Kitui which has resulted in poor rains, leading to acute water shortages of rain and perennial drought.
The directive was issued in a press briefing at Kitui Multipurpose hall in Kitui Town, following a closed-door meeting between the county executive and the county security committee led by Madam Ngilu and the county commissioner. to discuss the sad state of the region.
The County Commissioner decried that some traders were illegally felling indigenous trees especially in the remote areas of the arid county; a practice he said was alarmingly diminishing Kitui’s forest cover.
“Both levels of government have therefore resolved to impose a total ban on charcoal and sand trade with effect immediately,” said the county security chief.
On her part, Governor Ngilu revealed that charcoal traders transport an average of 200,000 Lorries of charcoal outside Kitui every month, an indication that there has been massive destruction of local forests.
“We cannot sit and watch while rogue people continue ruining our environment. We must put an end to charcoal burning and sand harvesting in Kitui county,” Said Madam Ngilu
She also affirmed that her administration’s commitment towards making the ban a success was irrevocable, adding that the decision was a turning point in saving Kitui from absolute environmental degradation.