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Economy

MPs urge government to lift logging ban

Kareke Mbiuki
Mr Kareke Mbiuki. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A parliamentary committee wants the government to partially lift the ban on logging and extraction of timber in order to allow Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to sell mature trees which are rotting in some forests.

The National Assembly committee on Environment and Natural Resources pointed out that there is no need to continue imposing the ban if mature trees that could earn KFS millions of shillings are rotting in the forests.

The committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki said KFS is struggling financially since it used to be self-sustained with the sale of the matured logs.

“The Exchequer only gave the agency Sh600 million which is not even enough to run the activities of KFS,” Mr Mbiuki said.

KFS has been relying on the sale of logs to boost its revenues. However, this revenue stream was hit last year after a moratorium placed on logging, affecting the agency’s financial position.

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The agency was earning more than Sh1.5 billion annually from the sale of saw logs, which kept it financially sound.“The earnings of KFS from the sales of logs should have now increased from the Sh1.5 it used to collect before the ban to sh1.8 billion, with that, it will not have to solely rely on the government allocation,” Mr Mbiuki said.

Mr Mbiuki suggested that to cub corruption related to the sales of the logs, the monetary value of the logs should be known before forest plantation material is allocated to saw millers for harvesting.

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