Locals near the Mau forest conservancy have allegedly turned into cutting trees following Deputy President Rigathi Gachagu’s recent remarks on the reintroduction of the Shamba System.
In Photos seen by KDRTV the Mau locals have already begun cutting down trees for firewood and for charcoal burning.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had on Saturday September 23 during the funeral of Baringo Deputy Governor the late Charles Kipng’ok hinted that the government would reintroduce the Shamba System which was banned in 2002.
The second in command went on to say that the government will work to ensure that the system makes a comeback in a more organized way that will not threaten forestry.
“You know these forests belong to the citizens. You are the ones guarding them. There is a CS who came in and barred people from even picking leaves for cooking. In the forest, we had Shamba System, where citizens were allocated land to plant maize while at the same time ploughing the trees. We will issue an order for you to resume planting in the forests so that we increase food production in the country. We will give guidelines on how to plant in the forest without destroying the trees,” the DP stated.
His statements raised eyebrows among Kenyans and environmentalists.
The former Mathira MP last week defended himself stating that he was misquoted.
The DP said farmers will have to agree to plant trees in gazetted reserves as they grow crops in between “and when they mature they vacate”.
“While in Baringo last week, I spoke about the government’s intention to start an afforestation programme. I urge the media to report objectively. I meant the government will engage farmers to plant trees as they grow crops and then vacate once the trees have matured. We will work with farmers to do afforestation on gazetted reserves.” Gachagua remarked.
Also Read: Miguna Blasts DP Gachagua Over Shamba System Remarks