By Micheal Muratha
Kenya Forest Service has purchased a fixed wing Cessna Caravan 14 seater. The Aircraft was received on the 30th April 2013 at the Wilson airport. Present at the ceremony was Principal Secretary Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife Mr. Hyslop Ipu, KFS Board Chairman Mr. Peter Kirgwa, KFS Director Mr. David Mbugua among other senior KFS and Government officials.
This fixed wing Cessna Caravan is part of a long term plan by the Kenya Forest Service to increase its capacity in the carrying out of its mandate of managing and protecting forest resources for the economic and social prosperity of our nation. Soon, the Service will acquire a Helicopter to further improve and increase this capacity. Forests in this country have in the past suffered a number of challenges; illegal excision, destruction by poachers and invasion by land speculators. This has greatly affected the integrity of our forests and especially how they play their roles as water catchments, carbon sequestrators, and adequately catering for the wood industry in Kenya.
Speaking at the ceremony KFS Director Mr. David Mbugua reteriated that the aircraft will also be for public use. “KFS being a government agency will be required time and again to assist in times of emergency like during floods for evacuation and also to deliver critical supplies to affected areas. It is only with the creation of Kenya Forest Service following the enactment of the Forest Act 2005 that real changes started being felt in the forestry sector. It is a trend we intend to pursue until all forests are secure” said Mr. Mbugua.
Speaking at the same Ceremony Principal Secretary Ministry of Forestry and Ministry and Wildlife Mr. Hyslop Ipu talked of the purchase of the aircraft as being a big investment which could have not been possible without the governments assistance which saw it fit to allocate funds to the Service for this purpose. He also talked of it as yet being another milestone in the quest to enhance sustainable forest management by continuing to acquire equipment and technology.
For photos and more information on Kenya Forest Service please visit their website at: http://www.kenyaforestservice.org/