CS blames counties for delay in devolving forest department

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Thursday May 5 2016

Environment, Water and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu during a past event in Nairobi. She has blamed county governments for the delay in devolving of the department of forestry. PHOTO by ROBERT NGUGI- NATION MEDIA GROUP

Out of the 47 counties, only Taita-Taveta has finalised the plans for the transition of the functions, four years after devolution.

Environment and national resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu has blamed county governments for the delay in devolving the department of forestry.

Out of the 47 counties, only Taita-Taveta has finalised the plans for the transition of the functions, four years after devolution.

Prof Wakhungu said finalisation of the plans would enable her ministry to enhance forestry development in the country.

“Taita-Taveta is the only county that has so far complied with this obligation but it only concluded and signed in January,” Ms Wakhungu said, adding that the speed that counties were moving to have the function fully devolved was slow.

The CS, who spoke at Nyambogichi Primary School in Laikipia County on Wednesday during the launch of the national tree planting season, said her ministry would push the counties to move faster.

Once concluded, the plans will provide a road map for implementing devolved forestry functions by the 47 counties and are expected to be endorsed by governors and the director of forest services.

“This process will deepen the much needed understanding at the two levels of government and their respective obligations in the sector,” the CS said.

The CS urged the governors not to have the notion that the national government was holding back support for them.

In line with the constitution and existing policy guidelines, she said, the national government will provide technical support as well as capacity development immediately the plans are endorsed.

In addition, a strong team of professionals in the Ecosystem conservator’s offices would be retained in each county to support them in areas of planning and budgeting, forest advisory services, forest enterprise and trade, forest management and enforcement of forestry laws.

About 150 million seedlings from the Kenya Forest Service, private sector, individuals and communities would be planted during the season.

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu noted that the county was targeting to plant 10 million seedlings.

In Summary

  • The CS who spoke at Nyambogichi Primary School in Laikipia County on Wednesday during the launch of the national tree planting season said that her ministry would push the counties to move faster.
  • In line with the constitution and existing policy guidelines, she said, the national government will provide technical support as well as capacity development immediately the plans are endorsed.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/

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