Lamu Governor Issa Timamy has opposed plans calls to bomb Boni Forest to flush out Al-Shabaab militants.
Addressing journalists at the new Mokowe County headquarters on Friday, Mr Timamy said bombing of the forest will destroy its ecosystem and called for alternative solutions to fighting the Al-Shabaab.
He was responding to calls by Coast Regional Coordinator Mr Nelson Marwa and Boni elders to have the forest that is considered Al-Shabaab hideout, bombed.
Mr Timamy said the forest has wildlife and huge forest cover which would be destroyed.
“I don’t think bombing of the Boni Forest in Lamu is a solution. There are wild animals and indigenous trees in that forest. It would be bad for a country to go and destroy its own resources,” said the governor.
“What will happen if Al-Shabaab hide in a town? Are we going to bomb the whole town just because they are there?” he said.
Condemning the recent Al-Shabaab attack in Pandanguo, Lamu West, Mr Timamy called on the public to give information to security officers to help them fight the Al-Shabaab.
“I want to urge our people of Lamu not to be cowed by these attacks. Let us stand up and be alert. If you spot any suspicious individual, please report immediately to the authorities,” he said.
Apart from being a tourist attraction, Boni forest has been the lifeline for the Aweer community commonly referred to as the Boni, who are hunters, gatherers and honey harvesters.
The forest was however declared a no-go zone by the Kenya Defense Forces shortly after the launch the Operation Linda Boni on September 15, 2015 to flush out the Al-Shabaab.