The government will deploy Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) to help conserve, protect, and monitor forests in the country, the Secretary of Administration in the Ministry of ICT Mr. David Jakaiti has said.

Speaking at the Kakamega Forest after the 4th Edition of the Kakamega Forest Marathon, an event organized to create awareness and raise funds for conservation, Mr. Jakaiti said, use of ICT to collect and disseminate data on flora and fauna was key in the achievement of conservation efforts in the country.

He said strategies have been put in place to raise forest cover from the current two percent to eight percent to create a sustained economy.

Mr. Jakaiti attributed threats on forest cover to population explosion noting that there was need check human activities to minimize degradation and preserve forests for future generations.

The Administrator commended sponsors and communities neigbouring Kakamega forest for their efforts to protect the forest ecosystem that was home to rare trees, birds, animals, and butterflies.

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Western Region Head of Conservancy, Mr. John Wachihi said the KFS has received 12, 000 tree seedlings donated by partners to be planted at the Kakamega Forest Conservancy area.

Mr. Wachihi said ban on logging in public forests was still in force and warned those found encroaching on the forest of dire consequences.

During the Marathon held on Saturday in Shinyalu, Kakamega County, Justus Kimutai and Lilian Matelong were declared winners for men and women categories respectively.