The government has ordered those who have illegally settled in some parts of Kirisia Forest in Samburu County to vacate.
Samburu Central Deputy County Commissioner Moses Muriuko warned residents to stop cutting trees and settling in government forests.
“If you look at this area you will notice that many trees have been cut to burn charcoal. Those cutting the trees should stop,” Mr Muriuki said on Sunday.
“Those who have settled in this forest should voluntarily vacate before they are forcibly evicted,” he added.
Kirisia Forest manager Waithaka Mugunyi urged locals to conserve water catchment areas by planting trees.
“We have seen a stream of water in this forest for the first time since 1990s and I urge residents to continue planting more trees and turn the area into a beautiful forest that would attract rainfall,” he added.
The two were speaking at Tamiyoi in Kirisia Forest where 3,000 tree seedlings were planted to mark 35 years since Equity Bank was established in the country.
The banks’ Maralal branch manager James Mwangi said planting of more than 3,000 trees in Kirisia Forest is part of the bank’s efforts to plant 35 million trees seedlings across the country to help government achieve its objective of increasing forest cover by 10 per cent by 2022.
“The government’s objective is to plant two billion trees by 2022 and as we mark the Equity Bank’s 35th anniversary, we pledge to plant more than 3,500 tree seedlings in Kirisia Forest,” said Mwangi.
The region's chairman of community forest association Douglas Leboiyare said locals will protect the seedlings from destruction by human activities.