Today I had a great meeting with the new District Forest Officer (DFO), Malindi District. I have severally tried to meet with him to pick on his advise regarding community participation in conservation as regards the new forest act. At last I have managed to do so today! As he courteously ushered me into his office I was greeted by the very familier set up I have known for over 3 years with only one change, the officer on the chair.
After a lengthy explanation of how ASSETS has progressed over the last 6 years, it was evident that the DFO had had very little information about the programme. Armed with past reports, newletters, minutes of previous meetings and letters of authorisation from the Director of Kenya Forest Service, I had the pleasure of bringing him to par with the opearations. It however turned out that according to the new forest act, several adjustments might need to be made. This will only take place after proper policies are constituted by the Kenya Forest Service.
This meeting will be followed up with another visit by the comittee of ASSETS beneficiaries to chat a way forward for revenue collection from the Arabuko Tree Platform. We hope and pray that the relevant policies will be put in place sooner!