The Kenyan government has been urged to lift its ban on logging to halt further job losses in the timber industry.

George Gitonga, national chairman of the Timber Manufacturers Association, says thousands of people lost their jobs when sawmills shutdown due to log shortages caused by the two-year old ban.

And he warned that the ban would result in acute shortages of raw materials for the country’s construction industry.

Mr Gitonga also claims the ban is proving counter-productive as many exotic trees are rotting in the forests after reaching the maturity age of 35 years.

In December the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said the logging ban would remain in place until the government was satisfied that the heavy destruction of forests had slowed.