CS Soipan Tuya Bans Livestock From Grazing In Forests

Tuya blamed livestock grazers for allowing their cattle to venture into forests and destroying the trees planted there.

CS Soipan Tuya Bans Livestock From Grazing In Forests
Collage of CS Soipan Tuya speaking in Ngong, Kajiado County (left) and a herd of cattle (right). /MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT.NATIONAL RESEARCH FUND

The government, through the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry has banned all livestock from grazing in public forests, in a move adding to the list of strict measures to protect government forests and ensure an increase in forest cover across the country.

Environment Cabinet Secretary (CS) Soipan Tuya, who was speaking to the media on Monday, May 13 during a tree planting exercise in Ngong, Kajiado County, blamed livestock grazers for allowing their cattle to venture into forests and destroying the trees planted there.

She thus called upon members of the public to work with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to ensure that all cattle are driven out of the government forests for good.

Environment Cabinet Secretary (CS) Soipan Tuya handles a seedling at Kona Baridi within Ngong Hills Forest in Kajiado County during a tree-planting exercise on May 13, 2024. /MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT 

"Grazing livestock in government forests is banned through the government policy. I urge all Kenyans to cooperate with the Kenya Forest Service so that we can remove all livestock from government forests because it is not sustainable.

"We cannot be planting trees in deforested areas and then you find livestock coming and clearing the seedlings that we have planted," she stated.

Tuya reiterated the government's firm commitment to environmental conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and landscapes through tree growing and related activities as a mitigative measure to the worsening climate crisis characterized by extreme weather events that include floods and droughts.

She joined Attorney General Justin Muturi in a tree planting exercise and added that the Ministry had prioritised the demarcation of boundaries and fencing of forests to forestall encroachment.

"We are working with the Ministry of Lands to ensure that the boundaries of forests...we will go round government forests to ensure that the boundaries are visible to everyone so that those who have encroached on forests can get out because we cannot agree with matters of encroachment.

"We cannot be saying that we are planting 15 billion trees only for those people to cut them down. We must all work together," she added.

On Friday, April 12, President William Ruto announced that the government would fence all gazetted forests in the country in a bid to protect them from encroachment leading to deforestation.

Ruto indicated that the fencing exercise targeting the gazetted forests will protect them from degradation and illegal activities and enhance their conservation.

To also ensure the protection of wildlife, the Head of State directed a team led by Tourism Cabinet Secretary (CS) Alfred Mutua to map all the areas that need to be fenced and furnish the government with the amount that would be required for the exercise.

"Do mapping of all areas that require mapping so that we ensure that in the next five years, we can fence off all the areas to eliminate human-wildlife conflict.

"Tell us how much is needed and how much distance will be covered," he stated.

President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua look on as Environment CS Soipan Tuya addresses a gathering in Laikipia County on April 12, 2024. /KENYA FOREST SERVICE