Despite a ban issued in February,Charcoal burning has been secretly going on in Kitui forests with more than 1,000 people being found burning charcoal in Sosoma Forest.
Antony Kamitu who is the County Police Commissioner said few of them were arrested while majority of them fled into the forest. The raid was led by Kamitu and Deputy Governor Wathe Nzau.
“I have instructed officers to arrest those who escaped. We shall not relent in the fight against charcoal burning,” Kamitu said.
The raid was taken Quickly due to continued interception of lorries ferrying charcoal from Kitui.
“The drivers often say the charcoal is from Lamu and Kilifi but we suspected some activity inside the forests,” said Kimatu.
Nzaua asked residents to work together with police to end the destruction of forests. May 13, Nzau led Mwingi youth in intercepting three lorries ferrying 200 bags of charcoal each.
“The owners claimed to have permits from Kilifi and Lamu. Does it mean the two counties are outside Kenya to allow charcoal burning after a ban was imposed?” Nzau said.
Environment executive John Makau accused the officers of laxity in implementing the ban.He claimed charcoal transporters had bribed police.
“We have known where the charcoal comes from. I can assure you that police will flush out all the culprits,” Kamitu said.