Sunday, January 26, 2020

A file photo of sandal wood tree seedlings in a nursery

Eleven tones of sandalwood worth Sh 44 million has been destroyed at Maralal police station following a court order. The sandal wood which was illegally harvested in Samburu east was confiscated by police officers in July 2019,while being transported in a lorry along the Maralal Wamba road.

The destruction order issued by Maralal Principal Magistrate Richard Koech was executed by burning in the presence of Samburu County Commissioner John Korir and Samburu County police commander Samson Ogello. While speaking after setting the exhibit ablaze in Maralal, county commissioner John Korir said his office would work with other government departments in ending sandalwood business across the county.

“We have Kenya Wildlife Service, police and Kenya Forest Service and principal magistrate we have agreed to jointly work together in ending this kind of business,” Mr Korir said.  The county commissioner said traders who are destroying forest and weeding out sandalwood in the region are non-residents in the county. He challenged residents to conserve forest by preventing people from cutting and even uprooting sandalwood trees.

Korir urged locals to protect their forests from exploitation by greedy people engaging in the illicit business.  “Sandalwood in an endangered species and the illegal harvesters are uprooting even the roots to maximise profits,” said Korir.The sandal wood species grows well in northern Kenya and its oil which has a sweet woodsy smell is a major ingredient for products such as perfumes, aftershaves and incense.

An image of sandalwood

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