Cutting down of trees in Machakos county is adversely effecting the region’s weather patterns.A non-governmental organisation has opposed the plan of cutting down exotic cypress and pine plantations at 22.2-hectare Iveti Forest in Machakos.
Greenpeace Africa senior campaign manager Renee Olende stated that Iveti Forest should be preserved since it’s a water catchment area adding that Kenya is short of the required national cover of 10% by 4%.
“Kenya has a target of 10% forest cover but according to Kenya Forest Service,only 6.2% of Kenya’s is currently covered.The government’s approval to fell mature trees at Iveti Forest is wrong for disregards the efforts by local farmers,communities and environmental organisations that are working to increase forest cover in the country,” Ms Olende stated.
Her sentiments came shortly after Machakos forest officer James Chomba announced that three saw millers had been selected to clear the forest to facilitate planting of 70000 new seedlings which had been raised.
“Kenya has recently witnessed extremely debilitating drought resulting to residents relying on relief food.Farmers and local communities are still reeling from the effects of drought,”stated Ms Olende.
She called for immediate end of tree felling stating that the rights and livelihoods of local people must be respected.