News 2008


Update 02.02.2008 !

Ogiek defend forests against corporate thief

22. Jan. 2008 - WTN - Nakuru/Kenya

Ogiek forest defenders successfully defended today the trees of the famous Mau Forest in Kenya. Timsales Ltd., East Africa's largest timber dealer with companies in Kenya and Uganda, was stopped today by Ogiek homeland guards to cut trees in Mariashoni location.

The two lorries with timber-trailers, which rumbled through the area, carried not only the chainsaw wielding lumber-crew, but also 20 policemen with automatic weapons, who were hired to protect the alleged timber thieves.

Though Timsales, in which the Kenyatta Family and their most famous heir Uhuru Kenyatta have substantial stakes, had earlier - together with two other companies - been exempted by the former government from the general ban on hardwood felling, the Kenya Forest Service, a newly established parastatal entity, which has succeeded the corrupt governmental Forest Department, stated today, that since its takeover no licenses for hardwood harvesting had been issued. A representative of
Timsales Ltd. could not be reached for comment.

Timsales, it is believed by the local people, just tried to utilize the present political turmoil and the general confusion to illegally cut hardwood trees from the forest.

But the swift response of the Ogiek guards stopped the operation and together with local elders and leaders the lorries and their team as well as the police-escort could be peacefully convinced to leave the area, whose people also are grievance-stricken due to most recent killings and atrocities committed by security personnel and invaders from neighboring communities.


If you only wine and dine and exchange niceties (or even bribes?) with presidents, but don't even ask the people, whose forests you plunder - YOU MAY NOT WONDER !

Paper mill runs short of materials




A Webuye-based paper mill is facing an acute shortage of raw materials.

Impassable roads due to illegal road blocks on highways since the post-election violence broke out has denied the Pan African Paper mills logs, which are its main raw material.

Executive director N.K. Saha on Wednesday went to see the Western provincial commissioner, Mr Abdul Mwasera, to ask for police escort for lorries ferrying logs to the company.

Mr Saha told the Nation that the company resorted to police protection to get logs from the forests to the factory.

The paper miller gets its raw material supply from Kaptagat and Timboroa in Rift Valley Province, areas worst hit by the violence that was triggered by last year’s disputed presidential elections results.

Mr Saha said that four lorries loaded with logs had been hijacked in the forest, thus scaring drivers. The drivers, he added, were worried of their safety making them reluctant to risk venturing into the forests without protection.

The company lost two of its lorries after they were set on fire while carrying finished products on the Webuye–Eldoret highway early in the week.

“We are finding it extremely difficult to continue operating under this disturbing circumstances but if we get security assurance, then we shall continue operations,” he said.

Has to consult

He, however, said the audience with Mr Mwasera did not result into automatic assurance as he has to consult his Rift Valley counterpart before addressing the issue.

Mr Saha appealed to the government to consider their request to protect the livelihoods of workers and their dependants.

The factory employs about 1,600 workers directly while thousands depend on its operations indirectly.