Poverty is complex. One can never truly fault a person who is driven by the sole motive of putting a decent meal in front of their family should they be forced into illegal actions in order to do so. But when actions are taken purely for greed and self gain, for a sickening desire to accumulate more and more wealth at the cost of the environment and its inhabitants, it is a lot easier to confront but so much more difficult to do anything about. Conservation in Africa is a mixture of the two and there is not a place on the continent that has not been affected by the misery of poverty and the avarice of the wealthy.
And as if it is not hard enough in Kenya to deal with our own corruption and greed, we are often landed with foreign riffraff who think that this is Africa so they can do what they want. The Kenyan coastline has always been prime choice for spoils.
Chale Island, a beautiful little paradise south of Diani is under attack once again.
The other day, the Colobus Trust was informed that a foreigner had bought a plot at Chale Island, and had cut down with electric chain saw some very old (200+ years) beautiful indigenous trees and very old mangroves.
We have left contact numbers with the island security who have been instructed to call us as soon as the culprits return. On receiving a report from them our collective intention is to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators including the land owner. A clear message has been sent.
The Forestry Department is particularly keen to follow up. The ignorance of the clearing operation with a view to ‘development’ is frankly blinding and completely unnecessary. Some of the felled trees and mangroves are estimated to be around 200 years old and irreplaceable. You will see from the photos that any further cutting will encroach both further into the forest and the water line.
If you are aware of any similar grotesque actions, please use the NEW HOT LINE to report incidences of FOREST DESTRUCTION, CUTTING OF INDIGENOUS TREES, CHARCOAL MAKING, ETC.
The number is : 0800 2212323 and the people concerned are:
PERMANENT SECRETARY : MR WAMACHAI
DEPUTY PERMANENT SECRETARY : MR PETER KAMWERE
PUBLIC RELATIONS : MNRS MARY NGARUMA