What you need to know:
- Speaking on Tuesday, the operation’s coordinator Mr Zablon Ndiema said they also impounded three Lorries - two fully loaded with charcoal and the third one carrying firewood.
Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers have intensified operation to save the indigenous Nyakweri Forest near Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok County.
At least 21 people have already been arrested and over 1400 bags of charcoal destroyed in a swoop.
The operation’s coordinator Mr Zablon Ndiema said on Monday that they also impounded three Lorries - two fully loaded with charcoal and the third one carrying firewood.
Also impounded were four Probox vehicles, six motorcycles and two power saws.
Mr Ndiema said the rate at which the forest was being destroyed was worrying.
“This forest supports wildlife at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The rate of destruction is worrying. We understand that more than 1000 bags of charcoal emanate from this resource daily for sale in various markets across the region,” he said.
He said commercial charcoal vendors had immensely benefited from the sale of the charcoal.
“They get more than Sh6 million every month,” said Mr Ndiema.
“It is a big business involving dangerous cartels of charcoal traders. But we will ensure we have broken the cartels,” he said.
He said law enforcement officers had already set up several patrol bases in the forest to monitor activities inside the natural resource.
“The destruction of the forest has interfered with Trans Mara ecosystem. Residents are now grappling with long dry spells unlike in the past when we had plenty of rainfall,” he went on.
He said there was need for concerted efforts to save the forest from further destruction from all stakeholders.
“We will not stop the operation any time soon. We are equally telling those who have been destroying the forest to look for an alternative source of income elsewhere,” he said.