The pictures you are about to see disturbed me. This is a trend not only in the Kipini Region but all across Kenya. And there seems to be no end in sight to this problem.
One of Kipini Scouts surveys an area damaged by illegal logging.
What was once a mighty tree is now rendered useless having loss its footing as it were.
Again, the damage goes on and on…
A logging site discovered by our scouts and the logs left behind by the loggers.
Very disturbing images like i mentioned earlier. On the plus side, we are currently in talks with the government mandated forest protection agency in the country to aid us in protection and forest management in the region!
Hundreds of thousands of exotic and indigenous trees have been destroyed in the past few months by illegal loggers in Tana River.This activity poses a significant threat to the biodiversity in Tana River and the conservation activities being spearheaded by the Kipini Wildlife Conservancy and Botanical Conservancy Trust [KWBCT].
At stake is the plant species Euphorbia Tanaensis, an exotic indigenous tree which is among the nine species of tree found in the 42 sq km expansive Witu Forest Reserve and Kipini Conservancy [Nairobi Ranch]. The tree is listed by IUCN 2002 Red list of threatened species and found in Witu Forest Reserve, bordering the Kipini Conservancy. At the same time the only Elephant migratory corridor that continues to exist in East African Coast, faces a threat owing to the ever increasing ecological degradations and new encroachment.Investigations done have revealed that the wanton destruction of the indigenous and exotic trees has been occasioned by the ever increasing demand for timber by the population living on the edge of the Witu Forest Reserve and within part of the Kipini Conservancy, which has been earmarked for conservation.The entire Nairobi Ranch has been set aside for the conservation of Wildlife and Botanical plants, Wetland and Sand dunes.Recent photographs taken reveal that the individuals behind the indiscriminate logging have been targeting indigenous trees which are known for hard wood. Further, it is emerging that trees which have not even attained maturity stage are also being cut down thus undermining the replenishing process of the forest cover in the area.The latest developments have caused a fury among environmentalists in the areas who are calling on the Government and other stake holders to intervene.Already massive destructions of forest cover along the Mt Kenya, Aberdare, Mau Narok, Ngong Hills is on record as being responsible for the reduction of the flow of water in the two major rivers that trace their origins from the highlands and eventually snakes their way through the semi arid to the Indian Ocean.A recent tour of Witu, in Lamu District in Coast region has an earth a syndicate where the beneficiaries of massive logging are said to be selling the by-products within the area or at times in the neighbouring district.These destructive activities one keen observer noted will have serious environmental implications pretty soon. “No doubt these destructive activities will have resultant ecological effects very soon”. Environmentalists and conservationists in the area have cautioned that destruction of the forest cover would impact adversely on the Riverine Ecosystem along the Tana Delta, known to support two species of monkeys facing extinction apart from other ecological systems.Further, it is imperative to note that the forest cover has a direct linkage to the rainfall pattern in the area, which supports Agriculture, the main bread earn for many villagers in the area. The destruction of the forest cover now puts in the balance the Kipin wildlife and botanical conservancy activities in the Tana River that acts as a vital catalyst towards fulfilling international recognized conservation objectives for threatened Coast plants and ecosystem.Witu Forest Reserve and part of the forest cover that extended beyond the reserve is a designated site of critical importance within the globally important Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests hotspots, identified by the Conservation International and supported by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund [CEPF].Environmentalists and conservationists have for a while been pushing for the protection of all forest cover within the Witu Forest Reserve and it’s environs owing to the fact that it fall within the Elephants Migratory Corridor extending to Kipini Conservancy. Adverse effects on the cover would result in the elephants changing their lifetime journey along the Coastal ecological system that has tourism related economical benefit for the indigenous.