Friday, June 1, 2012

Do not cut eucalyptus trees, Kenyans told

Raphael Mwadime in via the Star (Nairobi): Taveta county [is] staring an environmental crisis if the felling of eucalyptus trees continues unabated. Taita Taveta county forest zonal manager Allan Ongere blamed the wanton destruction of the trees on ignorance by the local residents.

"The trees have fallen victims of money hungry timber merchants just because the community believes that the eucalyptus trees are not environmentally friendly and consume a lot of water," he said. Ongere said the loggers in the area are felling the eucalyptus tree species without replacing them with any trees, adding that they are leaving the land bare and exposed. He warned that greed for money poses a threat to the few remaining indigenous trees once the eucalyptus trees are exhausted.

Addressing a stakeholders meeting in Wundanyi town, Ongere said research has shown that the benefits of the eucalyptus trees outweigh the purported negative impact by far. He urged the farmers to seek information from his office on the harvesting of trees.

"Trees are kept for either protection of environment or their economic value. People can harvest trees for timber or firewood for domestic use. Considering that most of us use firewood as the main source of energy, it is vital to treat other exotic trees with care because they are good in addressing climatic changes," he said.

Recently, Taita senior DO Paul Rotich raised the alarm over the rate of cutting down of trees in the region without replacing them. The administrator called on people living at the hilltops in Taita to plant trees during the ongoing rains to conserve the water towers...

Eucaplytus flowers, shot by Fir0002, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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