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KFS considers hiving off Aberdares Forest

Tuesday July 28 2020
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The Aberdare Forest. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By STEVE NJUGUNA

The Kenya Forest Service has said it is in talks with other State agencies to allow the hiving off of the Aberdare Forest land to expand Ndaragwa Township.

This is as Nyandarua County renewed its bid to hive off 163 acres from the forest to expand the township.

According to Head of Central Highlands Conservancy Samuel Ihure, plans to surrender the forest land to the town are under  way. 

However, Mr Ihure told the Nation that as much as expansion of the town is important to the county government, natural resources must be safeguarded.

“The town has extended to the forest and we want to safeguard River Pesi.

"There is a section of the town that is illegally degazetted but this is also under discussion,” he added.

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Various government offices in the town and Ndaragwa police station lie on the forest land.

The move to allow the hiving off of the forest land to allow the expansion of the town comes as the government begins repossessing all land illegally acquired by private developers in the country.

 KFS last week repossessed about 100 acres of forest land in Nyandarua County that had been grabbed by a private developer.

 The move to allow the hiving off of the forest land that has been sponsored by area MP Jeremiah Kioni is seeking land for commercial development, which will transform the township from a 38.5-acre dusty unplanned town into a 163-acre well-planned commercial hub.

 The plans have however been met with resistance by conservationists among them East African Wildlife Society saying that the plan would set a bad precedent for other counties, who are likely to demand more forest land.

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