Residents of Rumuruti in Laikipia county have raised alarm over the increase in illegal harvesting of sandalwood in the area. Speaking on Friday during a meeting with the county security committee, the residents said lorryloads of the endangered tree are harvested in private ranches and farms of absentee landlords and ferried to Nairobi.
Former councillor John Bosco Epul called on police to investigate the matter and erect road blocks on the newly constructed Rumuruti-Maralal road which has eased transport, thus necessitating illegal activities in the region.
County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha asked KWS to move with speed to protect the tree. He also urged residents to provide information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits. The government banned harvesting or trade in the plant in 2007.