Ogiek defend forests against
22. Jan. 2008 - WTN - Nakuru/Kenya
Ogiek forest defenders successfully defended today the trees of
the famous Mau Forest in Kenya. Timsales Ltd., East Africa's
largest timber dealer with companies in Kenya and Uganda, was
stopped today by Ogiek homeland guards to cut trees in Mariashoni
The two lorries with timber-trailers, which rumbled through the
area, carried not only the chainsaw wielding lumber-crew, but also
20 policemen with automatic weapons, who were hired to protect the
alleged timber thieves.
Though Timsales, in which the Kenyatta Family and their most
famous heir Uhuru Kenyatta have substantial stakes, had earlier -
together with two other companies - been exempted by the former
government from the general ban on hardwood felling, the Kenya
Forest Service, a newly established parastatal entity, which has
succeeded the corrupt governmental Forest Department, stated today,
that since its takeover no licenses for hardwood harvesting had
been issued. A representative of
Timsales Ltd. could not be reached for comment.
Timsales, it is believed by the local people, just tried to
utilize the present political turmoil and the general confusion to
illegally cut hardwood trees from the forest.
But the swift response of the Ogiek
guards stopped the operation and together with local elders and
leaders the lorries and their team as well as the police-escort
could be peacefully convinced to leave the area, whose people also
are grievance-stricken due to most recent killings and atrocities
committed by security personnel and invaders from neighboring
only wine and dine and exchange niceties (or even bribes?)
with presidents, but don't even ask the people, whose forests you
plunder - YOU MAY NOT WONDER !
Paper mill runs short of
Story by LUKE KAPCHANGA
A Webuye-based paper mill is facing an acute shortage of raw
Impassable roads due to illegal road blocks on highways since the
post-election violence broke out has denied the Pan African Paper
mills logs, which are its main raw material.
Executive director N.K. Saha on Wednesday went to see the Western
provincial commissioner, Mr Abdul Mwasera, to ask for police
escort for lorries ferrying logs to the company.
Mr Saha told the Nation that the company resorted to police
protection to get logs from the forests to the factory.
The paper miller gets its raw material supply from Kaptagat and
Timboroa in Rift Valley Province, areas worst hit by the violence
that was triggered by last year’s disputed presidential elections
Mr Saha said that four lorries loaded with logs had been hijacked
in the forest, thus scaring drivers. The drivers, he added, were
worried of their safety making them reluctant to risk venturing
into the forests without protection.
The company lost two of its lorries after they were set on fire
while carrying finished products on the Webuye–Eldoret highway
early in the week.
“We are finding it extremely difficult to continue operating under
this disturbing circumstances but if we get security assurance,
then we shall continue operations,” he said.
Has to consult
He, however, said the audience with Mr Mwasera did not result into
automatic assurance as he has to consult his Rift Valley
counterpart before addressing the issue.
Mr Saha appealed to the government to consider their request to
protect the livelihoods of workers and their dependants.
The factory employs about 1,600 workers directly while thousands
depend on its operations indirectly.