Kilifi: Locals Selling Baobab For Ksh300K Per Tree To The US

The government has taken action after it emerged that locals in Kilifi County were selling Baobab trees to the United States.

In a report on NTV, the locals are said to be selling a single tree at Ksh 300,000 to a prvate company licensed to harvest and export the Baobab.

Once harvested, the tree is transported to the port of Mombasa via a massive truck before it loaded to ships for export.

This is even as locals decry the uprooting of the ancient trees in the county while citing it’s advantages.

The new development caught the attention of President William Ruto who instructed the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to look into the matter.

“I have instructed the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to look into the ongoing uprooting of Baobab trees in Kilifi County to ensure that it sits within the Convention on Biodiversity and the Nagoya Protocol

“There must be adequate authorisation and an equitable benefit sharing formula for Kenyans. Further, the exercise must be in line with the Government’s agenda of planting 15 billion trees in the next 10 years,” he wrote on Twitter.

Following the directive, Environment CS Soipan Tuya cancelled licences issued to to private company for harvesting and exportation of the trees.

The CS also instructed the contract between the company and the people of Kilifi to be regulated to determine the amount of money given back to the community should the process be approved.

“It has been agreed that the baobab trees should not be exported until the adequate authority, as well as benefit sharing formula in line with the Convention for Biodiversity (CBD) and Nagoya protocol, are obtained and executed,” read the statement in part