|The Senior Deputy Director of Forests Mr. Emilio Mugo addressing members of Ragati and Naromoru CFAs at Naromoru Forest Station|
|The Chairman of Mt. Kenya West Community Forest Association Mr. Michael Kibira displays a copy of the Forest Management Plans as the other members celebrate at Nanyuki Forest Station|
Community Forest Associations (CFA) have been urged to organize themselves so that they can benefit from the immense forest resources available. This is because of provisions in the Forests Act which envisage a situation where local communities draw tangible benefits from the adjacent forests.
This was said during the launch of Forest Management Plans (FMP) in Central Highlands Conservancy where the CFAs of Nanyuki, Naromoru and Ragati forest stations received their management plans on 19th and 20th January 2012 in ceremonies presided over by the Senior Deputy Director of Forests (SDDF) in charge of operations Mr. Emilio Mugo.
Speaking at Nanyuki Forest Station where Mt. Kenya West CFA received its FMP, Mr. Mugo emphasized that the new forestry regulations stipulated that all forests in the country including private and local authority forests must be managed on the basis of management plans drawn by the various stakeholders in consultation. He said that this was the only way of ensuring sustainable utilization of forest resources.
While addressing a similar gathering at Naromoru Forest Station, the SDDF congratulated members of Naromoru and Ragati CFAs for their input in the formulation of their respective management plans. He said the plans will legally empower them to utilize the forest and thus uplift them economically. He also urged members of the public in the area to be careful with fires saying that the fire season had started owing to the prevailing dry conditions.
Speaking at the same event, the Head of Conservancy Mr. John Wachihi also congratulated the CFA members and also reiterated the need to be vigilant during the fire season. He declared the onset of the fire season in all the drier parts of the conservancy.
Mr. Joshua Irungu of ACT Kenya, which sponsored the three CFAs in the development of the plans, urged them to engage various community supporting organizations in the area to access funding which will enable them initiate income generating projects in their areas. He said that ACT Kenya will continue sponsoring them in the process of developing the Forest Management Agreements (FMA). These he said will enable the communities implement the management plans.
Article and pictures by Leakey Sonkoyo