Deputy President William Ruto has directed that the ongoing logging ban on mangrove in Lamu be lifted by January 2, 2019.
Speaking in Faza, Lamu County on Tuesday after officially launching the new Pate Girls Secondary school, the DP said the ban has left people poor.
Ruto directed the renewal of all licenses to allow people continue with the trade.
He said there was need for the environment ministry to formulate and come up with policies that will ensure sustainable harvesting of mangroves.
In February this year, the ministry of environment imposed a 90 day logging ban in the country.
The ban was however extended in May by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko so as to allow for the appointment of the Kenya Forestry Service board and also for the finalization of the interim reform implementations committee.
The ban has left communities that rely directly on the mangrove trade for livelihoods reeling in poverty and hardships.
However the DP said there is need for modalities to be made and licenses issued so that Lamu people can proceed with mangrove trade.
“I am making this directive in my capacity as the deputy president of this country. These people are suffering and I believe there are other ways we can address the other issues without locking off livelihoods. This ban should be off by January 2 next year so that people can progress and develop. Let these people get back their licenses so that they can conduct the trade,” said Ruto.
The DP was hosted in Lamu by Lamu East MP Athman Shariff.
He was accompanied by a host of coast leaders among them Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Owen Baya-(Kilifi North),Paul Katana (Kaloleni),SuleimanDori (Msambweni), Khatib Mwashetani (Lungalunga), Charles Njagua (Starehe)among others.
Also present were Lamu women rep Ruweida Obbo and her Kilifi counterpart Gertrude Mbeyu and Lamu senator Anwar Loitiptip.