Kenyans, including the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Keriako Tobiko, have been busy lately planting trees. They have planted millions of them unfortunately not in the soil but on Twitter.
Kenyans seem to have mistaken Twitter to land and are unaware that trees do not grow on Twitter. The Cabinet Secretary too, seems oblivious to this simple fact as the reality of massive deforestation continues to dawn on many Kenyans.
Dear Kenyans, trees are grown on land, in the physical soil not on Twitter or Facebook. If we really are genuine about planting trees, then we should be ready to get our hands dirty, get down on ground and plant trees, and take care of them so that they can grow.
In the 1960s, more than 90 percent of Kenya was covered in trees. Forests were all over the place. By 1990s, more than 60 percent of Kenya’s forests had disappeared but since we still had 40 percent, we consoled ourselves and soldiered on. Today, less than six percent of Kenya’s landmass is what is covered in forests, 94 percent is bare. Why are we busy praying for rain and crying that 3.4 million Kenyans are at risk of dying from hunger and starvation? Which miracle do we want God to perform?
There was a time Mau Forest was the largest water catchment area in the country. Greedy land grabbers who are allergic to any free space invaded the Mau Forest Land. They cut down trees, set up tea plantations and constructed houses. When they were told of the imminent danger, corrupt and ignorant leaders claimed that rain does not come from trees but in heaven. Now they are crying. Mother Nature is angry and the punishment is severe.
A week ago, the Deputy President of Kenya, William Ruto suspended logging in all major forests for 90 days. Was that a joke? 90 days? Which tree would have grown within 90 days? What would have changed in 90 days? This country needs long-term solutions and not reactionary solutions made through roadside declarations.
CS Keriako Tobiko should stop his online tantrums and focus on implementing policies that will save this country from turning into a desert. His current reactions make him look like he was just deported to Kenya recently. He thinks Kenyans of sound mind don’t know that he was the Director of Public Prosecution for some time. What did he do? Any land grabber who was jailed? Any bigwig carrying out illegal logging who was jailed? Nothing.