Thursday, June 4, 2020
Kisumu County NEMA boss Tom Togo addressing the media in Kisumu on measures taken to curb wanton sand harvesting in the area. Photo;Courtesy

Kisumu County NEMA boss Tom Togo addressing the media in Kisumu on measures taken to curb wanton sand harvesting in the area. Photo;Courtesy

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has banned sand harvesting in Kisumu to control wanton destruction of the environment in the area.

Sand harvesters have been issued with environmental restoration orders and shall be required to apply for licenses from the County Environment Committee before being allowed to operate.
 Kisumu County NEMA boss Tom Togo said the Authority was working in collaboration with the county government and Ministry of interior to enforce the directive warning those who flout the ban of dire consequences.
 “Anybody found engaging in sand harvesting during the ban without a license risks up to four years in jail, a fine not exceeding Sh. 2 million or both,” he warned.
The move, he said, was occasioned by rampant large scale sand harvesting by unlicensed individuals and companies who have degraded rivers, lake shores and encroached on critical installations.
Togo was speaking in Kisumu when he addressed members of the media, he pointed out sand harvesting on roads and along power lines which has left electrical posts hanging exposing people to danger.
He said the practice was rampant in Kanyakwar, Nyando, Usoma and Kisumu west areas where those involved have been issued with restoration orders.
 Rapid urbanization and construction boom being experienced in Kisumu, he said was to blame for the large scale sand mining adding that the ban was meant to restore order and protect the environment.
The measures, he added, shall extend to murrum harvesters and those operating quarries to safeguard the environment.
“We are not banning sand harvesting to lock anybody out of business but we want the practice to be conducted in a manner that is not harmful to the environment,” he said.
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Governor Dr  Wilber Ottichilo laying foundation stone for the construction site of an Administration Block at Maragoli Hills Forest. The European Union has allocated  Sh 160million  toward conservation of the water tower

Governor Dr Wilber Ottichilo laying foundation stone for the construction site of an Administration Block at Maragoli Hills Forest. The European Union has allocated Sh 160million toward conservation of the water tower

The Maragoli Hills Forest in South Maragoli location of Vihiga County, has received a major boost of Kshs 160 Million from the European Union towards conservation of the water tower.

Speaking when he officially launched construction of an Administration Block at the forest, Vihiga County Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo said according to the agreement EU will disburse the  grant in July 2020.
 Dr Ottichilo said once completed the Administration Block, which is fully sponsored by the county administration, will serve as centre for coordinating various economic activities at the Maragoli Hills Forest.
“My administration has entered into a working partnership with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) with the main objective of not only conserving this forest, but more importantly to convert it to an economic hub for the county,” remarked Ottichilo.
“The donor fund will be used to initiate various activities aimed at conserving the forest as well as enable surrounding community boost sources of livelihoods, thus improve living standards,” noted Ottichilo.
 “We will use part of the funds to establish a tourist attraction site in the forest which will help the county boost its revenue collection from both local and international tourists,” said  the Governor.
 He disclosed that his government and KFS had already drafted a development plan for proper management of the forest, and that they will embark on process of massive tree planting in the forest to check the perennial problem of soil erosion and landslides synonymous with area.
The governor  further noted the County department of water and environment has established a one acre tree nursery project for demonstration and production of variety of indigenous tree seedlings in the area to educate residents on seedlings production.
 “The one acre tree nursery project will be used to educate our people on how to produce tree seedlings,” stated Ottichilo.
 He encouraged the locals to exploit the opportunity and venture into what he termed as well paying tree seedlings production business.
 “The Kenya Forestry Service will be your target market for the tree seedlings enterprise,” Ottichilo encouraged the locals, especially the youth.
He added the afforestation process will also ensure constant supply of rain water within the county’s major rivers that rely on the Maragoli Hills Forest.
“Water levels in our major rivers have been going down due to adverse human activity in the forest,” observed Ottichilo who cited uprooting of planted tree seedlings as one of the main challenges affecting growth and development of the forest.
The county boss said the administration block will be used by KFS officers to man the forest against such adverse human activities.
Present at the groundbreaking ceremony included Deputy Governor Dr Patrick Saisi,  County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Water and Environment  Marita Agufana and her Chief Officer Dr  Richard Boyo.
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Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo addressed the press during the function, on the right is United Nations Country Representative Walid Badawi (extreme left), Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (second left) and other officials following the proceedings.

Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo addressed the press during the function, on the right is United Nations Country Representative Walid Badawi (extreme left), Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (second left) and other officials following the proceedings.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry today donated Personal Protective equipments (PPE) to the County Government of Nakuru as part of the ongoing support to strengthen national waste management efforts, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

The equipments include; key functional items for the full waste management process from triage to disposal, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE).

Speaking while handing over the equipments at Nakuru Level 5 hospital, Environment PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo said the equipments come at an opportune moment to when the country is experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic, and they will help in proper waste management in the health facilities and help to demonstrate sound healthcare disposal technologies through the adoption of Best Available Technology (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP).

PS Dr. Kiptoo said that the waste management equipments and two incinerators purchased with financing from Global Environment Facility (GEF), at a cost of 80 million will benefit Nakuru Level 5, Molo and Naivasha hospitals.

Dr. Kiptoo said project has supported capacity development and in Nakuru county by training 80 county personnel on sound management of chemical waste. Apart from Nakuru, the equipment’s will be distributed to 13 pilot health centers across four Counties: Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi.

He said that open burning of waste is the largest single source of air pollution, from toxic chemicals which are unintentionally produced, and organic pollutants which are emitted when burning waste, especially medical waste.

The PS was accompanied by Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui and UNDP Country Representative Mr. Walid Badawi .

Environment PS Dr. Kiptoo and the UNDP team paying a courtesy call to Governor Lee Kinyanjui at his Office at Nakuru County Headquarters

Environment PS Dr. Kiptoo and the UNDP team paying a courtesy call to Governor Lee Kinyanjui at his Office at Nakuru County Headquarters

Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that if the used masks are not well disposed, can be conduit for the re-infection of COVID-19 saying, if medical waste is allowed to dump sites it will endanger the lives of those families living in the areas and those operating in the sites.

“Twenty five percent of the county’s 2.4 million residents have been using disposable face masks and discharging them into normal garbage. This has been ending up at the dumpsite where more than 200 families directly eke out their livelihood,” he said.

The Governor thanked the Ministry of Environment for the donation and added that it will go a long way in management of medical waste.

UNDP Country Representative Walid Badawi said there is need for scaling up efforts to ensure sound waste management, and specifically sound disposal of harmful and hazardous waste from health and municipal facilities, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic period.

“UNDP is helping countries to urgently and effectively respond to COVID-19 as part of our mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience to crisis and shocks. In Kenya, UNDP is leading a UN-wide effort to establish the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 – an initiative which will inform future development programming, particularly during the recovery stages of the crisis”. He said.

 

Part of the Medical Equipments donated by the Ministry of Environment to Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, that will help in disposal and management of medical waste.

Part of the Medical Equipments donated by the Ministry of Environment to Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, that will help in disposal and management of medical waste.

The purchase of the equipments was funded by the UNDP-GEF Sound Chemicals Management Mainstreaming and Unintended Persistent Organic Pollutants (UPOPs) Reduction in Kenya project with UNDP -Kenya as the implementing partner, with the aim of promoting sustainable waste management practices, particularly those related to healthcare.

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nemaTransition to clean energy is critical in combating climate change, improving the quality of lives for communities and conservation of forest resources. Adoption of renewable energy technologies provides opportunities for communities to utilizeclean energy resources, and improve their health and livelihoods. However, various studies indicate that there is still very low adoption of such technologies among rural communities. This is despite upward growth in investment by government and other development partners in promotion of the technologies. In this respect,National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND)in partnership…….read more

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A group photo of top government officials who took part in the Ngong Hills. The exercise was led by Dr. Kinyua and some Principal Secretaries.

A group photo of top government officials who took part in the Ngong Hills. The exercise was led by Dr. Kinyua and some Principal Secretaries.

The Ministry of Environment has firmed up the national the national tree planting campaign, with a passionate appeal to corporate organizations, Institutions and Kenyans at large to support the efforts to increase forest cover and implementation of re-afforestation programmes.

In the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to the down scaling of the national tree planting activities, the ministry is now concentrating efforts in the Nairobi metropolitan area, while regional heads of conservancies are spearheading tree planting activities within their areas of jurisdiction.

Top government officials have been taking lead in the tree planting exercise being held across the Nairobi Metropolitan, speaking during a tree planting exercise at Ngong Hills, Chief of Staff and Head of public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua has called on Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, County Governments, Civil Society Organizations as well as the Private sector to join in this noble journey to reclaim forest treasures and increase the country’s forest cover.

Dr. Kinyua said Ministries, Departments and Agencies should support tree planting efforts in public forest areas while families and individuals are encouraged to plant trees on their land, he called on Kenya Forest Service to facilitate tree planting in public forest land by families and individuals living close to public forests.

Chief of Staff and Head of public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua plants a tree at Ngong Hills , Dr. Kinyua led a delegation of top government officials including Principal Secretaries in a tree planting exercise.

Chief of Staff and Head of public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua plants a tree at Ngong Hills , Dr. Kinyua led a delegation of top government officials including Principal Secretaries in a tree planting exercise.

“We need to protect our water catchment areas by planting the right species of trees and undertaking massive afforestation programs targeting degraded forest landscapes and the farmlands. I am informed these interventions have the capacity to address the devastating floods and landslides that we have witnessed in the country”.

During the exercise 4000 trees were planted, Environment PS Dr. Chris K Kiptoo said that Ngong Hills Forest is an important water source for Nairobi and the site serves as a recreation center which needs to be rehabilitated to its original pristine state.

Present during the exercise where Principal Secretaries Public Service -Mary Kimonye, Prof Fred Segor- Wildlife, PS Broadcasting- Esther Koimmet,  Deputy Head if Public Service Wanyama Musyiambo, Environment Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Mohamed Elmi, Principal Administrative Secretary-Interior Ken Kihara, Chief Conservator of Forests-Julius Kamau and Representatives from other state agencies.

Deputy Head of public Service Wanyama Musiambo in readiness to plant a tree at Ngong Hills.

Deputy Head of public Service Wanyama Musiambo in readiness to plant a tree at Ngong Hills.

 

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More than 7,000 tree seedlings were planted in Porro area in Samburu Central  Sub- County, Samburu County.
Kenya Forest Services (KFS) national enforcement Commandant Alex Lemarkoko led a multi-agency security team, community members and university students in the tree planting exercise.
The exercise which was spearheaded by KFS, aims at mobilizing the local community to take advantage of the ongoing rains to plant at least 15,000, tree seedlings in forests, public institutions and private land to help increase the county’s forest cover.
Mr Lemarkoko lauded families that had illegally settled in Kirisia Forest for vacating voluntarily since January 2020.
He further warned  illegal settlers who are still living in Kirisia forest to move out voluntarily or face forceful eviction.
“In December 2019, the community agreed to vacate the forest voluntarily and majority have already left. However, there are a few families who are being cheated that they can’t move out and I want to tell them they will be forcefully evicted,” he said.
He said that after everyone has vacated, more treeswill be planted to replenish the tree cover and conservation efforts boosted.

Naramat Community Forest Association chairman  Douglous Leboiyare and the region’s university students’ association chairperson Jacob Lemeteki asked communities to plant trees and conserve forests in the county.

“I appeal to our community to spearhead forestconservation and also ensure that we plant many trees in our homes,” Lemeteki said.

Mr Leboiyare lauded politicians in the region for not  politicising the government’s eviction directive against people who illegally settled in Kirisia forest.

Mr Lemeteki asked Kenya Forest Service officers to conduct an operation to evict illegal settlers out of the forest in a humane manner.

 

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3ad9b259-c819-4253-b5ab-e6c3847c2186About 90 percent of the seeds planted in the 2500 acres land at the Maasai Mau Forest  have germinated.
Narok County Ecosystem Conservator Mr. Mwangi Muraguri said the seedlings are tendered by 880 locals employed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), to man the forest since October last year.
The seeds were planted last year in November through aerial seeding  by a multi-agency team that included the KFS, Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI),    Kenya Wildlife Service, Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority (ENSDA), and Narok County Government among other Non -Governmental Organizations.
”The trees planted include the pine trees, cedar, bamboo, Cyprus, blue gums, gravellier among other species which were mostly dispersed through aerial seeding,” said Muraguri.
The government embarked on restoration of Maasai Mau forest  after over 2000 families living in the forest lands vacated in two different phases that began in the year 2018 and 2019.
The government has since deployed a multi-agency security team in the area to man the water catchment land from destruction.
The Government still holds on the moratorium issued last year over logging which has seen success in control over logging and charcoal burning.
Maasai Mau forest is the largest water tower in East and Central Africa and it’s the source of major rivers such as Mara River, Nyangores and Amolo rivers that are crucial for the Serengeti (Tanzania) and Masai Mara Game Reserves.
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Narok County Ecosystem Conservator Mr. Mwai Muraguri speaks to media , he said that KFS officers nabbed over 10, 000 cider posts that were cut from private forests.

Narok County Ecosystem Conservator Mr. Mwai Muraguri speaks to media , he said that KFS officers nabbed over 10, 000 cider posts that were cut from private forests.

The Kenya Forest Service impounded over 10, 000 cider posts and timber at Olololpil area in Narok North Sub County which were that cut from private farms without a legal permit.

KFS head of Narok County Ecosystem Mr. Mwai Muraguri said the owners of the posts had disregarded the  the Forest Conservation Act, which requires that one must get a legal permit from his office through the local chief’s office to be allowed to fell trees.

Mwau said that the government moratorium also bans cutting of indigenous trees like cider and oak which take over 50 years to mature , and said that the operation to nab those cutting trees will continue.

“The officers were carrying out their normal surveillance when they found out that some people were gathering cider posts for sale in a hideout at Ololopil area. The officers ambushed the illegal dealers and seized the forest produce,” said Mwai.

Unfortunately, according to Mwai, no person was arrested as all those dealing with the illegal forest produce took off when they saw the officers.

“It is unfortunate that the post dealers are shifting to the private farms after we banned any human activities at the Maasai Mau forest.  We will however pursue them and arrest them for destroying the forest,” said Mwai.

Mwai said cutting down trees for domestic use like charcoal burning and fencing should be done after consulting with the chief and getting a valid license from his office as per the law.

The officer called on the residents to take advantage of the ongoing rains to plant more trees in their farms to attain the required 10 percent forest cover.

“Trees help in holding soil on to the ground hence prevent soil erosion. Planting trees is essential in mitigating mudslides and floods,” said Mwai.

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Kipkellion legislator at the (KFS) National Chairman Mr Peter Kinyua plants a tree at Tulwop Kipsigis in Londiani in Kericho. Photo by Courtesy of KNA.

Kipkellion legislator at the (KFS) National Chairman Mr Peter Kinyua plants a tree at Tulwop Kipsigis in Londiani in Kericho.
Photo by Courtesy of KNA.

In a bid to attain a 10 percent forest cover by the year 2020, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has planted 5,000 tree seedlings at the Tulwap Kipsigis Forest in Londiani in Kericho County.

KFS Chairman Peter Kinyua who led the tree planting exercise said that Londiani forest station has three million tree seedlings which are ready for planting during the long rains season.
Kipkellion West legislator Hilary Kosgei who is also a member of the parliamentary committee on environment and natural resources said that the clarion call to plant trees aims at restoring  the country’s forest cover to achieve a 10 percent forest cover by the year 2022.
Kosgei urged the residents of Kipkellion and Kericho in general to plant more indigenous trees alongside degraded hills and forests this, he said, will check the effects of environmental disasters that comes with wanton destruction of forests.
Kericho County, Assistant Conservator Stephen Kahunyo, said that reforestation programme has been rolled across the country in degraded sites and urged communities living alongside forests to protect the forests and protect the already planted trees.
Kahunyo also appealed to the residents living near the forests sites to desist from grazing their animals forested areas. He said that Tulwap Kipsigis, the holy shrine of the Kipsigis community would receive much emphasis in reclaiming the forests at the hill.
In observing the covid-19 social distance regulations, those planting the trees kept a distance of 1.5 meters.
Members of the Kipsigis Myoot Council of Elders were present during the tree planting exercise.

 

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People living down stream near rivers, landslide and flood prone areas have been told to move to safer grounds, to avert disaster.
In a joint press conference with the Cabinet Secretary of Interior Fred Matiang’i, Devolution,  Eugene Wamalwa, Water and sanitation, Cicily Kariuki, ICT, Joe Mucheru and Energy, Charles Keter, the government has warned those who will not move on their own from the marked areas, that will be forcefully moved in a bid to avoid disaster and save lives.
The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned that the current rains will not subside until the end of May, and there is more likely to be more landslides in central Kenya,  and floods in Eastern , Coast , Western, Nyanza and Nairobi regions.
During the media briefing held at the Kenya Meteorological Department,  Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko warned that Kenyans should take serious government advisories issued concerning the floods and landslides, hence move to safer grounds.
CS Tobiko said there is an urgent need to address deforestation and land degradation to avert disasters like mudslides and floods which are being witnessed.
CS Tobiko said; “The effects of climate change are real as being witnessed now,  with the raging floods and landslides, we should protect and conserve the environment against vagaries of climate change”.
Speaking during the press conference, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i,  said the level of government alertness will remain high and called on Kenyans to cooperate with local authorities and county commissioners to move to safer grounds.
Dr. Matiang’i added that the government will continue to give food donations and essential items to those affected by floods, while some will receive direct cash transfer to buy food.
Energy CS Charles Keter said Turkwel Gorge dam and Masinga Dam have filled to maximum capacity reaching unprecedented levels in history and the overflow water will affect those in Garissa and Tana River, they should move to safer grounds.
Devolution CS , Eugene Wamalwa regretted that in the last 24hrs, 30 people had died in the raging  floods, and warned that there is going to be more disaster if people don’t heed the  advisories.
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Some of the equipments acquired through UNDP at a cost of Ksh 12 million. PS Dr. Kiptoo urged Kenyans to safely dispose the masks being used during COVID-19 to avoid re-infections.

Some of the equipments acquired through UNDP at a cost of Ksh 12 million. PS Dr. Kiptoo urged Kenyans to safely dispose the masks being used during COVID-19 to avoid re-infections.

Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo has underscored the need for proper handling and disposal of medical waste in order to protect the ecological environment and human health, and prevent spread of infections like COVID-19.

Speaking during the handing over of environment protection equipments and commodities to be distributed to 13 Health Care Facilities in different Counties, PS Dr. Kiptoo said there is need for timely, orderly, efficient and harmless disposal of medical waste.

He called on individuals and medical facilities to take a lead in proper medical waste disposal especially the face masks being used now during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying Kenyans should follow the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) guidelines on proper and safe disposal of masks to avoid re-infections of the COVID-19.

The equipments comprising of color coded bins, bin liners, weighing scale, safety boxes, aprons, overall, heavy duty glove and gumboots, eye protective gear, helmets and surgical masks  will be used be in the disposal processes of medical waste.

The equipment’s which were purchased under the Ministry of Environment, Chemicals Management, Mainstreaming and Unintentionally Produced Organic Pollutant’s Project at a cost Ksh 12 million will be distributed to 13 project medical facilities in Nakuru, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

Speaking during the event, Ministry of Health, Head of Projects, Dr. Kepha Ombacho said that the equipments will ease handling medical waste at the 13 medical facilities in the counties, especially now that hospitals are handling more wastes from disposables.

He said the Ministry of Health will collaborate with the Ministry of Environment through NEMA to deal with those who will not follow the proper mask disposal.

United Nations Development Program Kenya Resident Representative Dr. Walid Badawi sound management of chemical waste is important, and the project facility is timely given the current COVID -19 pandemic.

 

PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo , center , right UNDP Kenya country Representative Dr. Walid Badawi, Left Mbagathi County Hospital CEO Dr. Joseph Karani, 2nd left Ministry of Health Head of Special Programs Dr. Kepha Ombacho during the handing over of the equipments.

PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo , center , right UNDP Kenya country Representative Dr. Walid Badawi, Left Mbagathi County Hospital CEO Dr. Joseph Karani, 2nd left Ministry of Health Head of Special Programs Dr. Kepha Ombacho during the handing over of the equipments.

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NEMA bans sand harvesting in Kisumu

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has banned sand harvesting in Kisumu to control wanton destruction of the environment in […]

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