Tuesday, July 16, 2019

CS Keriako Tobiko Adressing the participants duning the workshop.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called on industrialized nations to help pollution hit countries cope with the catastrophe as stipulated in the polluter pays principal.

“The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is very clear that countries that pollute the most must help the countries that suffer the most and pollute less in terms of financial contributions, capacity building and technological transfer” the CS observed.

Mr. Tobiko said industrialized and developed countries who measure their GDP in terms of profit margins rather than sustainability have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to pay for their emissions that adversely non-polluters.

The CS was speaking when he opened a regional workshop on indigenous women participation in a conservation program known as “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) processes in Africa at a Nairobi hotel. It was attended Women from various parts of the world.

The workshop aimed at discussing how best to mainstream gender and strengthen the role of Women in REDD+ processes and subsequently the war on climate change.

“75~80% of worldwide emissions comes from G~20 countries, only 4 percent of the emissions comes from Africa, yet we bear the brunt and burden of the effects of environmental pollution and climate change” he lamented.

World Bank’s official Kilara Suit on his part said that climate change exposes women to discrimination since there is increased work load, as they work over time to ensure food is available.

“World Bank is keen on delivering capacity building programs and financial support to women on substance environmental conservation,” she confirmed.

University of Nairobi’s Prof. Patricia KamoriMbote noted that when you talk about environment without touching on women then something is amiss, further reaffirming that for women to be included adequately to environment conservation issues, there should be interventions to assist in achieving the goal.

“ There  should be a movement that advocates for not only women but also other key stakeholders that are underrepresented, high level political engagement to rally for women participation on environment conservation, intellectual engagement for women to make them more involved in environment conservation and also building networks to marshal women to participate in talks of environmental conservation,” she affirmed.

Kamori further added that women should be given right to own land since it would be a key factor in influencing how they can put land to optimum use.

The meeting brought together participants from 22 countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

participants following proceeding during the two day workshop on women participation in REDD+ processes in Africa.

 

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Significant rainfall was reported over the Lake Victoria Basin, and South Rift Valley,Highlands West the Central Rift Valleyand the Coast,as depicted inFigure 1. The Central Highlandsreceived light rainfall. The Northeast, the Northwest and the Southeast Lowlands remained mainly dry.A comparison between the previous seven days (1st to 7th July, 2019)with the period under review(8th to 14th July, 2019) indicatesa general reduction in rainfall amounts across the country although some stations in the Western Highlands,the Lake Victoria Basin, the Rift Valley and the Coast recorded increases.

Nyamira Rainfall Station in Nyamira Countyrecorded the highest seven-day total rainfall of96.2mm. Other stations that recorded significantrainfall totals during the review period include L. Bogoria KWS Rainfall Station in Baringo County (74.8mm), SubaMeteorological Station (49.4mm), Eldoret Meteorological Station (47.7mm), Kisumu Meteorological Station (46.1mm), ATC Koibatek Rainfall Station in Baringo County (43.5mm), KisiiMeteorological Station (39.3mm), Kakamega Meteorological Station (37.0mm), (68.6mm), Bungoma Water Supply (35.2mmRainfall Station in Bungoma County,Butere Rainfall Station in Kakamega County (34.1mm), LamuMeteorological Station (28.5mm), among othersas depicted in Figure 2.

Very heavy rainfall (over 50mm within 24hours) and heavy rainfall (between 20mm and 50mm within 24 hours)wasrecorded in the Central Rift Valley and various parts of the Western Highlands,the Lake Victoria Basin respectively. These include L. Bogoria KWS in Baringo County (64.8mm on 11thJuly, 2019), Kisumu Meteorological Station (42.3mm on 13thJuly, 2019), Suba Meteorological Station (35.6mm on 11th July, 2019) Eldoret Meteorological Station (33.5 mm on 12th July 2019) Nyamira D. O Rainfall Station in Nyamira County ( 32.2 mm on 13th July, 2019), among others as depicted…read more

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Single use plastic bottles and containers clogging a stream at a section where River Njoro drains into Lake Nakuru.

Conservationists have raised the red flag over the increased discharge of single use plastic bottles into Lake Nakuru, that is threatening its eco-system.

 

Lake Nakuru National Park Senior Warden Catherine Wambani says, at least 30 to 40 tonnes of single use plastic bottles found their way into Lake Nakuru National Park every rainy season, posing danger to the wildlife and were a threat to one of Kenya’s most visited parks.

The single use plastic bottles’ waste generated from Nakuru town centre and the neighbouring estates is swept into the park through River Njoro, the main life line of Lake Nakuru.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has challenged Nakuru County government to take drastic measures to curb the plastic bottle menace as they were non-biodegradable and were harming animal and aquatic life.“If this continues unchecked, the lake will eventually be too toxic for the current aquatic life as well as herbivores that often come into contact with non-biodegradable material leading to their deaths,” Wambani said.

“This new pollution challenge from the town is getting out of hand. When it rains, flood water carries tonnes of plastic waste into the lake and thereby killing it slowly,” says Wambani adding that, every week, over 500 kilogrammes of plastic bottles are collected from the park and this increases during heavy rains. Ms. Wambani revealed that last month alone, 28 tons of single use plastic bottles were retrieved from a screen constructed at a point where the River flows into the Lake.

The county government, stated Ms. Wambani, needs to allocate enough funds to solid waste management.“There is a need for adequate funding in waste management. We want to see the current situation of the dumping sites spilling over rectified. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has done its part by launching an infrastructure spatial plan for Lake Nakuru National Park to help mitigate pollution of the wildlife habitat and conserve affected species of wildlife whose population is fast dwindling,” says the Senior Park Warden.

Two years ago, Kenya banned the use, manufacture and sale of environmentally harmful plastics, polythene bags and packaging materials. The ban was challenged but the courts upheld it.

Christine Wangari, the Executive Director to Multi-Touch International, an environmental Conservation nongovernmental organization involved in the rehabilitation and clean-up of the river says she was engaging a section of Members of Parliament to draft legislation to ban the single-use of bottles, plastic straws, cutlery, and cups that were chocking waterways in the country. Ms. Wangari says the ultimate source of the problem – Kenyan’s ‘newfound’ dependence on throwaway plastic products – should be tackled through total ban on single use plastic containers. “Single use plastic bottles are now a major cause of pollution and reduce the habitats. We have come across animals entangled with these bottles. If ingested by the wildlife, they end up dying and pull back our efforts on conservation. We must ban plastic bottles and give another industry an opportunity to fill the gap created,” she said.

The county government of Nakuru should seriously undertake its mandate of ensuring that litter is collected and disposed of well, so that it’s not swept into the park when it rains,” says Wangari. “We are now diverting resources that are meant for other purposes into retrieving plastic bottles from the Lake and River Njoro. This is unnecessary wastage. The bottles are also an eyesore to tourists visiting the park,” states Ms. Wambani.

The National Geographic rated Lake Nakuru the second most colourful lake in the world after Christmas Island in Australia. Having been declared a national park and Rhino sanctuary respectively in 1961 and 1983, there are approximately 45 black and 31 Southern White rhinos today, and more than 450 bird species like flamingos and pelicans.The park is also home to 50 other mammal species, including lions, leopards, buffaloes and it also hosts rare plant life.

 

In June this year, while addressing the “Women Deliver 2019 Conference,” in Vancouver Canada, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a ban on single-use plastic bottles in beaches, national parks, forests and conservation areas. In effect, this means Kenyans going to the beach or national parks are banned from carrying water bottles, plastic plates, plastic cups as well as plastic spoons and forks.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui says the County Government and the German Development Bank are fine-tuning a Sh3 billion solid waste management programme that will help to reduce deposits of waste to Lake Nakuru. Kinyanjui notes that the upgrade of the current 40 year old sewerage system in Nakuru town would enhance separation of storm water a main culprit in sweeping plastic bottles into water bodies from waste water from residential areas for appropriate filtering and safe disposal.

The development comes after the Kenya Wildlife Service reported that 145 buffaloes translating to 3.45 per cent of the total population of 4, 100 buffaloes within Lake Nakuru National Park died of the highly infectious anthrax disease that is caused by bacteria. Two others died in Soysambu Park. The County boss says mutual waste recycling partnerships with wildlife stakeholders within Nakuru town anchored on Reducing use, Recycling and Reusing (3Rs) model is significant in conserving the wildlife.

Scientists say years of improper waste direction to Lake Nakuru from Nakuru town has increasingly hampered growth of algae in the lake leading to migration to other places of flamingoes and other bird species. Ms. Wangari further regrets that the effluent that flows into the lake has changed the Ph from 5.86 to 7, making it unsuitable for wildlife. “Safeguarding our environment ranks on the top of the list of our administration. We understand that when our environment is safe our people prosper, but when it is polluted and damaged their livelihoods standards are injured,” she states.

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The Solar Water Heating (SWH) and Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Systems Regulations gazetted by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in 2012 require that technicians and contractors designing and installing solar PV and solar water heating systems be licensed by ERC. To be licensed, technicians and contractors should have undertaken the relevant training. Additionally, vendors and manufacturers need to employ licensed technicians in order to be licensed them- selves.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry with support from the USAID/UNDP funded Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project supported capacity development of Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) to offer training on design, installation, repair and maintenance of solar photovoltaic and solar water heating systems. These efforts were done in collaboration with the Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IEET), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Ten (10) TVETs were supported in SPV and SWH training of trainers (ToT) and provision of training equipment. The Project also facilitated the development of a National Solar Water Heating Training Manual.

Solar PV and SWH short training courses are now being offered on a regular basis at the ten TVETs listed in Table 1.2. The training courses target applicants with the following minimum qualifications….Read more

SWH and SPV short course application form….Download Here

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CS Keriako Tobiko giving his opening remarks during the regional workshop on women participation in REDD+ processes in Africa at a Nairobi Hotel.

Women from poor, forest-dependent communities play a key role in the management of forests yet they are marginalized from decision-making and sharing the benefits of climate investment finance Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said.

“They don’t sit in council of elders that make decisions at community level, these are our mothers and yet they are the repositories of our cultural, traditional and intellectual property” The CS noted.

Mr.Tobiko said that it is sad that women were  not allowed to sit where decisions were made for their voices to be heard and therefore played  no role in controlling resources and  they do not receive even a penny from the billions that accrue from this exploitation.

He however called on the meeting to emulate Mikoko Pamoja an initiative from Gazi in Kwale County that has brought together ordinary women who have planted mangroves and were able to restore 100 acres and are now reaping from carbon credit.

A group photo of participants possing for a during the regional workshop on women participation in REDD+ PROCESSES in Africa. (1)

The CS was speaking when he opened a regional workshop on indigenous women participation in conservation program known as “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) processes in Africa at a Nairobi hotel. It was attended Women from various parts of the world.

He said that Africa lacked sufficient financial and technical resources to design, implement and effectively monitor forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The workshop was also attended by various local women organizations alongside officials of the world bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The PS, Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, stressing a point during the courtesy call by the World Bank’s Helene Rex, as Mr. Ben Miranga from World Bank and Ms. Agnes Yobterik listen keenly.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, has expressed the Kenya Government’s appreciation to the World Bank, for granting the Project Preparatory Advance, to enable the Ministry to start preparing for the Lake Victoria Management Project III(LVEMP-III).

Speaking in his office, when he received the World Bank Program leader for Infrastructure and Sustainable Development Ms. Hellene Carson Rex, Dr. Mohamed observed that, the revitalization of the Kisumu port will spur economic growth in the East African region, noting that, the Kenya Government had taken key environmental measures of handling ship waste by having a sewer line constructed along the Lake Victoria shores. The PS further lauded the World Bank for supporting Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) through the Climate change Directorate.

Speaking during the same function, Ms. Hellene Carson Rex noted that, the World Bank was committed to support the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Program phase III, observing that, LVEMP III will be more ambitious in addressing key economic issues in the entire Lake Victoria basin, which is a shared resource.

Present during the courtesy call were the World Bank specialist on Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Ben Miranga and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Director of Programs, Projects and Strategic Initiatives Ms. Agnes Yobteric among others.

Memorable_- The PS in a memorable group photo with the World Bank group team and other officials from the Ministry after the courtesy call.

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Scores of Kitui traders selling and using banned plastic bags and businesses violating effluent discharge regulations were on Wednesday arrested during a crackdown by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) enforcement officers.

 Speaking after the sting operation carried out in various Kitui Town business premises, markets, petrol stations, hotels and other enterprises, Kitui NEMA Coordinator Godfrey Wafula decried continued distribution and use of the banned plastic bags in the county.

 “We are aware that traders are still using these plastic bags despite the ban put in place two years ago and hoteliers are discharging hazardous effluent from their premises into the environment leading to pollution. This is against environmental conservation laws as enshrined in our Constitution,” said Wafula.

  The NEMA official disclosed that the agency would not tire to raid premises operated by unscrupulous business people and maintain vigilance for compliance.

 He further warned traders and vegetable vendors to comply with the directive banning the usage of plastic bags adding that those found culpable will be arraigned in court.

“We have put measures in place to nab the manufacturers and distributors of the banned plastic bags countrywide and this crackdown in Kalundu market is geared towards attaining prescribed standards protect the environment and human health,” said Wafula.

He said that they were targeting business people selling the plastic banned plastic bags to ensure compliance with the ban to keep our environment safe and ensure adherence to public health standards.

NEMA Deputy Director Legal Services Linda Kosgey said that  courts of law would determine fines to be meted against offenders ranging from Sh2 million to Sh4 million or imprisonment term of not less than one year to four years.

Kosgey said that businesses that do not have waste water pre-treatment systems in place hence discharging raw sewage into the sewer line or into the environment would be issued with compliance notice failure to which they would be shut down.

She disclosed that according to Water Quality Regulations 2006, companies discharging into the environment were supposed to apply for the annual Effluent Discharge Licenses (EDL) from NEMA after undertaking annual audit.

“Those discharging into the sewer line are supposed to apply for discharge permits from Water and Sewerage Companies within their respective Counties,” she said.

Kosgey warned all business enterprises discharging untreated effluent into the environment that they faced closure if they do not comply and urged those who have been issued with improvement orders to adhere to the conditions of the orders to avert closure.

NEMA Deputy Director Environmental Planning and Research Charles Lange noted that the ongoing inspections against illegal discharges do not aim to hurt businesses as the Authority understands the importance of a thriving business economy.

Lange disclosed that businesses should not be allowed to operate at the expense of the environment and called on the operators to comply with various environmental laws.

He implored on the public to offer information to the Authority on companies discharging harmful effluent into the environment.

However, several traders at Kalundu market decried the raid saying that they do not have alternative packaging materials to use and called on the agency to mop up the plastic bags from their origin.

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Nyei County NEMA Director Nancy Mui holding up Githeri packed in a banned plastic paper bag at Mweiga Trading Centre in Kieni Constituency.

Over 15 individuals have been arrested in Nyeri by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), for flouting various environmental regulations including use of banned plastic bags and inappropriate effluent discharge. The offenders including small scale traders, industries and hotel owners were arrested following a crackdown mounted by the authority within the county in the last one week, marking the commencement of a 100-day Rapid Results Initiative (RRI).

In some instances, dramatic scenes were witnessed as some culprits tried to resist arrest, especially in open air markets where traders are still using nylon papers, accusing the authority of unfairly targeting them instead of going for the producers. NEMA County Director, Nancy Mui, said the campaign was aimed at ensuring that use of plastic carrier bags that was slowly creeping back was completely wiped out as well as ensure compliance to proper waste disposal by facilities such as hotels, petrol stations, industries and residential plots.

She said banned plastic bags were slowly making their way into the market and polluting the environment despite the ban, calling for appropriate measures to be taken to ensure the regulation was followed to the letter. “We have noted that the banned plastic bags are slowly re-merging with some suppliers still stocking and releasing the same into the market,” said Ms. Mui as she announced a one week amnesty for the culprits to declare and surrender them.

“If you fail to declare or surrender the plastic bags within one week, we will definitely arrest and prosecute you,” warned the Director, saying no one would be spared from suppliers to the end users. As per the plastic ban regulation that came into effect on August 28, 2017, anyone found producing, selling or using plastic bags is liable to a fine up to Sh. 4 million or a jail term of four years. She continued that the hunt down is also targeting facilities discharging effluent into the environment with no connection to the sewer system, cesspool or having no efficient treatment system.

“We are arresting those who have not complied with effluent discharge as well as checking on those who have complied to ensure the set conditions are met,” said Ms. Mui.

She said those facilities lacking effluent discharge licenses risk prosecution and closure of their businesses. The authority is also targeting houses built on wetlands as owners are asked to produce land ownership documents to certify their authenticity.

NEMA officer marking a house for demolition built on a wetland at Ngangarithi Estate in Nyeri Town.

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Significant rainfall was reported over the Highlands West and the Central Rift Valley,as depicted inFigure 1. The Lake Victoria Basin, and South Rift Valley, the Central Highlandsand the Coast received light to moderate rainfall. The Northeast, the Northwest and the Southeast Lowlands remained mainly dry.A comparison between the previous seven days (24th to 30th June, 2019)with the period under review (1st to 7th July, 2019) indicatesa general reduction in rainfall amounts across the country although some stations in the Western Highlands and the Rift Valley recorded increases.

Butere Rainfall Station in Kakamega Countyrecorded the highest seven-day total rainfall of78.5mm. Other stations that recorded significantrainfall totals during the review period include Kanduyi Agricultural (68.6mm), Bungoma Water Supply (61.8mm), Eluuya Girls (56.3mm)Rainfall Stations in Bungoma County, Nyamira D.O Rainfall Station in Nyamira County (39.3mm), Kakamega Meteorological Station (37.2mm), NyahururuMeteorological Station (36.6mm), KerichoMeteorological Station (36.4mm), Busia Ministry of Water Rainfall Station (31.4mm), and Kabarnet DC  in Baringo County (31.1mm)as depicted in Figure 2…….read more

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Environmental inspectors ensuring compliance to solid waste and water disposal regulations.

Factories and industries in Uasin Gishu County contravening the solid waste disposal and management Act by discharging raw waste to water ways will be prosecuted.

This follows the approval of a motion by the Uasin Gishu County Assembly asking the County Government, through the department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to ensure that all factories in the county strictly adhere to the Act.

The motion moved by a member of the county assembly, Mary Goretti Baroswa indicated that, many industries in the county were discharging raw waste into water ways, contaminating and rendering them dangerous for human and animal consumption.

Baroswa said some factories in the county were polluting Sossiani River, by discharging solid waste, thus affecting the lives of thousands of people downstream.

“Many factories including those using chemicals to treat timber poles have contravened the waste management Act by discharging waste to Sosiani River that is used by the residents of Uasin Gishu and their livestock thus exposing them to the risk of water borne diseases,” she observed.

Megun MCA and his nominated counterpart Nancy Sang supported the motion saying that pollution was a serious problem affecting the health of the people hence the need to take punitive measures against those polluting the environment.

“Any investors who wish to start a factory or industry in the county must adhere to the rules and regulations of the waste management and disposal Act,” they said.

 

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Students of Kanyakine high school during the tree planting exercise where more than 1500 tree seedlings were planted (1)

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has challenged students of Kanyakine High school in Meru county to ensure the school regained its lost academic glory.

“Kanyakine High School was the Alliance High school of Eastern region, let’s make this school great again, let me hear a resounding yes we can” The CS urged.

CS Tobiko analumnus of Kanyakine High school, and the best ‘A’ Level Student nationally in 1984, made the school gain recognition nationally when he emerged top student.

He encouraged the students that it did not matter how poor their parents were and where they came from but all that mattered was the deliberate choice they make to succeed.

The CS said “The secret to success is simple handwork, discipline and respect to parents, teachers and fellow students”.

The CS spoke today when he launched the national school tree planting campaign at the school where 1,500 tree seedlings was planted.

Kanyakine High School is one of the most active school on matters of tree planting and management. At the moment, the school’s forest cover stands at 60% of the land area measuring 33 Acres.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Environment and Forestry through its Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) have donated laptops, water tanks and monetary donation worth of construction materials to Kanyakine High School.

Through the leadership of the Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, the school has received 12 laptops five of which are loaded with curriculum on Forestry, five water tanks each with the capacity of 10,000 litres and Ksh200,000 worth of construction materials.

The CS told the administration of the school today when he launched the national school tree planting exercise in the school. The CS was accompanied by the Meru Governor Hon KiraituMurungi, Chairmen and CEOs of National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Water Towers Agency and National Environment Trust fund.

He was accompanied by Meru governor KiraituMurungi, the County Executive Committee member  for Environment, Natural Resources and Climate change Prof. KarwithaKiugu. Others included the chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau, Director General Kenya water Towers Prof Julius  Tanui, DG NEMA Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, Director Kenya Forestry Research Dr. JoshuaCheboiwo, chairman NETFUND Moses Akaranga and CEO Samson Toniok.

CS Keriako Tobiko adressing the students of at Kanyakine High school.

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CS Keriako Tobiko giving his key note adress at the Meru University of Science and Technology.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called on Meru University of Science and Technology students to  plant, adopt and nurture five trees each before they graduate from the institution.

This is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that every institution set aside at least 10 percent of their land to plant trees.

“Your institution has 540 hectares of land at least 54 hectares of this land must be under trees” The CS challenged.

He urged the university to take advantage of the 30,000 tree seedlings donated by Kenya Forest Service to the institution and ensure they are planted, nurtured and adopted.

“There is no difference between trees and our lungs, there is no life without trees, plant trees and let the students water them, don’t wait for rain, it may never come” he advised.

The CS thanked Meru Governor Hon. KiraituMurungi for sinking a borehole in the institution and urged other county governments to put forward the environmental agenda.

He was speaking at the University grounds during a tree planting exercise where a chancellor’s forest has been established by the Institution in conjunction with UNESCO. An initial fund of sh. 100,000 will be spent to plant avocado fruits whose profit once mature will serve as an endowment fund to assist needy students.

CS Tobiko was accompanied by the Meru governor KiraituMurungi and the vice chancellor prof Romnaus Odhiambo.

CS Keriako Tobiko and Governor Kiraitu Murungi joins traditional danceers

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Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called on industrialized nations to help pollution hit countries cope with the […]

WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE NEXT SEVEN-DAY PERIOD VALID 16THTO 22ND JULY, 2019

Significant rainfall was reported over the Lake Victoria Basin, and South Rift Valley,Highlands West the Central Rift Valleyand the Coast,as […]

ALARM OVER PLASTIC BOTTLES IN L. NAKURU

Conservationists have raised the red flag over the increased discharge of single use plastic bottles into Lake Nakuru, that is […]

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