Charcoal Ban Imposed In Elgeyo Marakwet

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The County Government of Elgeyo Marakwet has announced a ban on charcoal production.

Governor Wisley Rotich announced the ban on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

In a statement posted on his social media pages, Governor Rotich said the decision has been made following a huge outcry from members of the community over the wanton destruction of the environment through charcoal burning.

The activities, the governor said, were being done by people mostly from outside the county.

Charcoal burning will now not be allowed in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

As a measure to ensure the ban is fully enforced, the county boss announced the establishment of a multi-agency team.

The team will be made up of officers from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

Officials from the county government and the National Police Service will also be part of the multi-agency team.

Cash crop program

The team will ensure that charcoal burning and transportation is not practised within Elgeyo Marakwet borders to save our water sources and environment,” Governor Rotich said.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich.

With charcoal burning a major source of employment and income for many, the county boss is now advising those that have been involved in the business to register for the cash crop program.

He argues that planting cash crops has better returns than charcoal burning which destroys the environment.

As a long-term solution we have engaged a huge number of partners to help us plant trees in all catchment areas when the rains begin,” Rotich said.

Further, the governor has asked members of the public to ensure their catchment areas are protected from destruction.

They have also been advised to participate in tree planting, especially Bamboo in all springs, wetlands, water intakes, dams and rivers.

NEMA has also been instructed to enforce the riparian law to ensure people don’t farm in the protected areas,” Rotich said.

A typical charcoal kiln set up on a roadside next to wood from trees toppled by a grader in Baringo County. Photo/ICRAF Phosiso Sola.

Meanwhile, all farmers who have planted Eucalyptus trees near water sources have been advised to uproot and plant indigenous and Bamboo trees.

The charcoal ban has been imposed in Elgeyo Marakwet at a time most parts of the country have witnessed environmental degradation.

Many rivers are drying up with many schools in distress, urban areas having limited water supply, poor sanitation, communities and individuals fighting for water,” noted the Elgeyo Marakwet Governor.

This is a major threat to human life,” he added.

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