HC Deb 17 July 1940 vol 363 cc195-6
19. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps have recently been taken in Kenya to prevent and remedy soil erosion; whether effective collaboration in soil and water conservation has been secured between the East African territories; and whether the services concerned with this work have been able to continue their work in spite of the emergency?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. George Hall)

A Soil Conservation Division of the Department of Agriculture has been set up in Kenya for the prevention of soil erosion in the Colony. Anti-erosion work is in progress in most districts; in the Machakos Reserve a project on a considerable scale is in progress assisted by a Brant from the Colonial Development Fund. Some progress in the prevention of erosion is visible, but advance is necessarily slow, since it is difficult to make African tribes understand the need for anti-erosion measures. As regards the second part of the Question, steps have been taken to secure collaboration in anti-erosion work by all East African Dependencies; and annual reports on the progress made are received by my Noble Friend and reviewed in detail by the Colonial Advisory Council of Agriculture and Animal Health. Anti-erosion services in Kenya have been continued despite the present emergency, but their efficiency has, of necessity, been to some extent impaired owing to a number of officers being called up for military duty.

Mr. Creech Jones

Will my hon. Friend try to safeguard the very limited staff engaged on this work because of the gravity of the problem in Kenya?

Mr. Hall

Yes, Sir.