CS Tobiko Tense Over Plan For Sh5 Billion Kisii Sugar Factory

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources says it has serious reservations about the planned excision of 120 acres of forest land to build a sugar factory in Kisii County.

Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko told a Senate committee yesterday that his office was uncomfortable with approving the request to hive off the land unless concerns raised were addressed.

Among the concerns, Mr Tobiko told legislators, was the forest cover in Kisii County, which has one of the lowest in the country at 2.6 per cent against the legally required cover of 10 per cent.

The CS argued that hiving off land from Nyangweta Forest to develop the Sh5 billion factory would further deplete the forest cover.

He told senators that he needed clarity on the project and had requested the county government to furnish his office with a detailed report before the approval was given, insisting the forest was public rather than community property as argued by the county.

“I have not actually reached a point that I have sufficient clarity of mind whether to make my recommendation or not,” Tobiko said.

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