ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOOD FOR CHARCOAL BURNERS
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry will consider requests of assisting former charcoal burners to seek alternative livelihood in Kajiado County following a countrywide ban on logging.
The forestry conservation secretary Mr. Gideon Gathara said the Ministry would explore the possibility of assisting the county generate clean energy and step up afforestation programs.
He was speaking when he met a team of officials from kajiado County who sought assistance to create alternative sources of livelihood for some residents who were left desperate after the moratorium imposed by the central government last year.
The meeting held at the Ministry headquarters discussed the need for increasing generation of clean energy after statistics indicated that 69% of households in Kenya used firewood for domestic activities thereby contributing to the global warming.
The officials concurred on the urgent need to mitigate against climate change in the semi- arid county by creating a balance between afforestation and harvesting of energy generating products.
The officials heard of various methods of generating alternative energy by using shrubs and twigs to make briquettes that were less destructive to the environment. Other sources of alternative energy in the county include biogas and the abundant Biomass from prosopis juliflora also locally known as “Mathenge” shrubs.
The Kajiado County executive committee member for water, irrigation and natural resources M/s Florence Mathenge said that women were most affected by the moratorium and were in dire need of alternative sources of income.
Mr. Gathara noted that cooperation between the Ministry and the County were in fulfillment of the constitution that recommended intergovernmental relations on development matters.
Present at the meeting were the county director environment and natural resources mr. John Kanini, the Director of Kenya Forestry Research Institute M/S Jane Njuguna among other officials.
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