Friday, September 20, 2019

Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua while on a development tour of Tala in Mwatungulu sub-county where he launched 400 new large garbage bins.

As the devolved function of waste management gains momentum, Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua has led the way by spearheading cleanliness in various towns of the county.

He urged residents to uphold high standards of cleanliness in an effort to make the county the cleanest in the entire East African region.

Speaking in Tala town of Matungulu Sub-county in Machakos Friday during a development tour where 400 new large garbage bins were launched, the Governor urged the residents not to litter the ground with garbage.

Dr. Mutua who also launched six new skip loaders, two modern compacting trucks and a street light truck said his government is building town roads and constructing modern drainage systems

“We are paving walkways and concreting open ground. We are also installing solar street lights. The idea is to make our towns and villages modern and eliminate dust and mud” said the Governor.

Some of the dustbins that were distributed by the Machakos County government in Tala area of Matungulu sub-county of Machakos. The governor called on the residents to uphold high levels of cleanliness.

Dr. Mutua pointed that cleanliness and order starts with an individual adding that the country is ready for generational change.

“We need new leadership that will ensure money gets into the pockets of our people. Kenyans are tired of being broke and poor while a few people and some corrupt leaders swim in wealth” said Dr. Mutua.

The second term Governor who is aspiring to contest for the 2022 Presidential seat reiterated that economic growth calls for innovation, experience in development, and energy to transform Kenya.

“That is why I reiterate that as a young, dynamic leader, I will, by the grace of God and will of the people of Kenya, be the next President of the Republic of Kenya,” Said Dr. Mutua.

He urged leaders not to be obsessed with politicking adding that the country needs speeded up development so that the economy grows.

Quoting the words of the famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that you ought to change the environment and the environment will change you, Dr. Mutua pointed out that leadership should be about transforming lives through quantifiable and wide-reaching development programmes.

According to the Governor, the county has already installed over 1800 mulika mwizi floodlights and street lights, nearly 500 dams, pans and weirs for harvesting water and 441 solar powered boreholes for feeding the over 360 km new water pipes in the villages.

“Our over 1,000 primary schools each have a free 10,000-liter water tanks from my Government. The journey of removing the shame of lack of water is past halfway in Machakos” added Dr. Mutua.

“This is quantifiable and verifiable development that has changed lives. Now, our youth have time to attend the 40 free polytechnics in Machakos County to equip themselves with skills to enable them to gain employment” he added.

 

 

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The Agikuyu Holy Shrine inaugurated  last week by Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko shall be accessed and used free of charge for worship and other spiritual & religious rites by members of the Agikuyu Community on the following terms & conditions.

  1. No putting up of structures or settlement
  2. No cultivation of crops or grazing of
    livestock
  3. No logging or cutting of trees
  4. Every worshipper visiting the site shall
    bring & plant an indigenous tree at the site
  5. A tree nursery & bustani of indigenous
    trees & traditional herbs to be established
    at the site
  6. No trading or commercial business
  7. . No political meetings or gathering

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Residents of Malindi town clean the town during the monthly clean up exercise

Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr Ibrahim Mohamed has called on Kenyan to adopt the circular economy model in terms of dealing with waste.

“The Ministry has finalized public consultations on development of a Sustainable Waste Management (SWM) Bill and Policy”. The PS said.
The policy has adopted a circular economy approach whereby all waste is regarded useful and extraction of maximum value from waste is prioritized.
In a speech read on his behalf today by the Director of Environmental Education and Awareness Dr Ayub Macharia the PS said the Policy and Bill intends to create many jobs for Kenyans in the waste industry through waste recycling and composting.
He urged Counties to domesticate the SWM Policy and Bill in order to ensure a clean and healthy environment as enshrined in the Constitution.
The PS spoke in Malindi town after a monthly clean up exercise spearheaded by Progress Welfare Association of Malindi and the Malindi Municipality. The clean up exercise was attended by Kilifi North MP Hon. Owen Baya, Kilifi CECs in charge of Environment and Tourism among other dignitaries.
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CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, fielding questions from a K24 TVkl reporter, during the interview.

Kenya is on the path to achieving a cleaner environment following the recent ban on plastic carrier bags.

Speaking to the media in his office on the milestones achieved after two years of plastic ban, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Mr. Keriako Tobiko observed that, there has been tremendous progress in the enforcement of the ban.

Over 500 people have so far been arrested for the offence while 300 others were prosecuted and fined between sh. 50,000 and sh.150,000. Some of the arrested people were jailed, the CS added.

Observing that there has been tremendous progress in reduction of the circulation and distribution of the plastic carrier bags, Mr. Tobiko cited human and financial constraints and lack of capacity as some of the challenges facing National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in  fully discharging its role.

Mr. Tobiko enumerated porous borders, inability of County Governments to take up the devolved environmental conservation function and low public awareness on attitude change as some of the other challenges facing the plastic ban.

 

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry gazetted the ban on plastics on February 28, 2017 and it took effect on August 28 the same year. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has since been enforcing the ban leading to a cleaner environment in many parts of the country.

CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, stressing a point during the media interview.

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Wananchi preparing mangrove tree seedlings for planting at the coastline.

Conservationists are alarmed by the loss of mangrove forest cover to illegal cutting of trees in Kwale County. Stakeholders contend that concerted effort is required in halting the illegal logging of mangrove forest for firewood and building materials saying those involved do not realize that indiscriminate felling of mangrove trees along the shoreline is illegal and destructive to the marine biodiversity.

 

Mangroves are rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between lands and oceans and support a rich biodiversity besides providing a valuable habitat for fish and crustaceans. James Kairo, chief scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute says mangroves which thrive in salt water are regarded as the most valuable resource along the shoreline.“But illegal cutting of mangroves makes it a dwindling resource thus affecting livelihoods,” said Kairo.He said in recent years stakeholders have been able to plant about 30,000 mangroves in Kwale County alone.

 

Kairo said the damage done to mangrove swamps in the area is enormous besides exposing the coastline to the vagaries of weather and coastal erosion. Speaking in Vanga during a tree planting exercise Dr. Kairo said residents must value mangrove forests because they play a major role in the ecosystem. He said urgent concerted efforts are needed to save the unique mangrove forests before they are completely damaged and save the biodiversity and the livelihoods which depend on the mangroves for survival.

           

Dr. Kairo underscored mangrove conservation saying it is important in the fight against climate change and mitigates risks for coastal communities as well as being a defense against storm surges, tsunamis, rising sea level and soil erosion.“These trees are of much importance knowing that they purify the air we breathe not forgetting prevention of strong waves like tsunami,” he said. Dr. Kairo said 80 percent of fish caught in the coastal region depends on mangroves which need to be conserved to enhance food security.“Large percentages of fish found depends on these trees and at the coast people rely on fishing to sustain their livelihood hence imagine absence of such valuable trees,” said Dr. Kairo.

 

On his part, Kenya Chief Conservator of Forests for the Kenya Forest Service Julius Kamau said there has been an increase in fish production since the campaign for mangrove planting was initiated in Kwale in 2008. “Before 2008 Vanga used to get 3 tons of fish per year but after creating awareness on the importance of environmental conservation mostly by planting trees they now produce 12,000 tons annually” he said. Kamau however, urged local residents to preserve forests for their own benefit and for posterity. “When we are told to safeguard our environment, we are not doing it for anyone but rather for ourselves for good health and prosperous lives,” he said. 

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Memorable- CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, in a memorable group photo with the Maa Ladies Environmental Ambassadors, after the courtesy call.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Mr.Keriako Tobiko, has challenged professionals from the Maa community to form networks and groups, in order to champion for environmental education to their communities.

Speaking to a group of Maa Ladies Environmental Champions who had called on him in his office, the CS noted that, the community is challenged because they depend on the environment 100%, and there is  need to educate the people on the importance of environmental conservation.

The CS challenged them to form groups, networks and movements to champion environmental education to their communities which are mostly affected by environmental related disasters including drought and floods. He  cited the dependence of the Maa community on the environment for their livelihoods as a driving force to take up conservation issues seriously and become environmental ambassadors.

Mr. Tobiko noted that, apart from the Maa land being Arid and Semi Arid (ASALs), there were many other challenges faced by the community who are largely pastoralists, including rampant charcoal burning, lack of proper human waste disposal among others.

The CS called on the environmental ambassadors to expand their networks to include volunteers from Narok, Kajiado, Samburu, Laikipia, Marsabit and Baringo counties, and identify key environmental concerns in these counties as well as map out learning institutions that are fenced, and that can be tree planting sites ahead of the short rains tree planting regime in October and November.

CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, in discussion with members of the Maa Ladies Environmental Ambassadors group in his office.

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Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said the files for those who grabbed and sold land in the Maasai Mau have been finalized and forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for prosecution.
The CS said grabbers, who he termed as the ‘original criminals‘ hived about 35,000 acres of land are liable for prosecution.
He cautioned leaders against politicizing the Mau evictions saying the government will not allow politicians to gain political mileage by allocating forest land to their cronies and defending them against evictions.
“Forests cannot be used to gain political mileage, the second phase of Mau evictions will be undertaken soon, it has been a hot potato and we shall not be intimidated. Tobiko said.
He said the Mau issue is thorn and complex , and if the issue is not solved now, with the 2022 elections politics simmering , the issue may never be solved.
The CS was speaking over the weekend , while fielding questions from journalist at Shankoe Secondary School, in Trasmara Sub-county, Narok County.
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CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, and PS, Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, gesturing, as they address the strategy meeting at the Minstry’s boardroom.

Kenyans, including Community Forest Associations (CFA’s) and private institutions, have been called to heed the government clarion call, to plant trees in order to increase the country’s’ forest cover.

Addressing a multi-agency meeting for institutions spearheading the national strategy to increase the country’s forest to 10%, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, directed the Chief Conservator of Forests to map out degraded forests to be deforested, noting that, if the Country is to achieve the 10% forest cover, 500 million seedlings are required to be planted every year for the remaining 4 years.

Mr. Tobiko said schools will be ideal sites for the tree planting and growing, whereby students will plant and adopt a tree. At the same time, the CS said idle huge trucks of government institutions land will be mapped out and be used as nursery sites.

Present during the meeting was the Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Mohamed Elmi. , Principal Secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau, and the Secretary Administration, Mr. Joel Kitili, among other senior Ministry officials.

The CS addressing the strategy meeting.

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CS Keriako Tobiko giving his key note adress during the Inauguration of the KWTA Board.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has directed the Kenya Water Agency (KWTA) to move immediately into Mau Forest and oversee its protection and rehabilitation.

The CS said the Conservation Agency would lead the Country in turning around the multiple Environmental problems the country was facing, including water shortages, reforestations, rising temperatures and food shortages.

He noted that it was the height of retrogression for a country to destroy its environment and forests under the pretext of industrial development.

Tobiko was speaking today when he inaugurated the new board of the Kenya Water Towers Agency, chaired by Dr. Julius Malombe.

CS Keriako Tobiko is received by the Chairman of the Kenya Water Towers Agency Hon. Dr Julius Malombe at his office

The CS emphasized the critical role of the Agency in resuscitating the countries water sources, adding that his ministry was working to ensure the organization was anchored in legislation.

He said, for Mau forest to remain an important water tower, the illegal occupants had to leave without compensation.

He cautioned communities living within the precincts of the invaded water tower against politicizing environmental restoration as it was the source of livelihoods for thousands of people within the Mara ecosystem that extended from Kenya to Tanzania.

CS Tobiko said the Cabinet had approved the National Strategy to increase the tree cover from the current 7.2% to 10% in 2022, adding that the task was enormous requiring more than 1.8 Billion tree seedlings.

CS Keriako Tobiko poses for a group photo with the newly inaugurated kenya water towers board.

The CS appealed to KWTA to be innovative in mobilizing resources from the current Kshs 100 million allocation from the Government, to restore various water towers in the country.

The new board comprising 11 members was appointed on 3rd May this year and includes the chairman, Prof. Julius Tanui the Ag. Director General, Ms. Wambui Muriithi, Robert Mutuma, Peter Leitoro, Esther Wang’ombe, Edna Atisa, Timothy Naeku, Hibo Bishal, Sandia Maina and Bernard Mulwa.

 

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A file photo of raw sewer flowing into a river.

Naivasha sewerage Treatment Company has been accused of contaminating Lake Naivasha waters by failing to treat raw sewer.

Chairperson Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association (LANAWARUA) Enock Kiminta, claimed that raw sewer from the plant was finding its way into the lake and no action has been taken by the company to address the menace.

Kiminta however said that stakeholders had recommended the closure of the treatment plant since it was not serving its intended purpose and instead was polluting the lake and exposing the marine life to health hazards.

“It is well known that the sewer plant continues to discharge effluent into the lake putting the fish we consume under threat,” he said.

Kiminta told the press in Naivasha that as a result of the discharges, the riparian land around the lake had been destroyed with small scale farmers who were carrying out farming activities around the same lake making the pollution even worse.

He said National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) had targeted large scale farmers majority of whom are flower growers with permanent structures leaving out small scale residents who were tilling the riparian illegally.

He cited the riparian land around Manera area which he said was completely destroyed by the small-scale farmers illegally occupying the land and who purported to have been allocated the land as former freedom fighters.

Saying the Water Act of 2016 was very clear on the conservation and protection of the riparian land, the chairman warned that if the illegal activities were not curtailed, the aquatic life in the lake would be endangered.

He said the stakeholders were proposing that the county and national governments move with speed and restore the riparian reserve as per the 1892 meters above sea level contour line or risk losing the water resource.

Kiminta said all activities on the land should be brought to a halt and those who have encroached on it by erecting permanent structures be removed with immediate effect.

A representative from Friends of Lake Naivasha Fred Muthui said the presence of water hyacinth in the lake remained a big threat and called for similar efforts as those at in Lake Victoria to remove the dreaded weed to be employed to Lake Naivasha as one way of saving the life of the water body.

Pollution hot-sport-A file photo of raw sewer flowing downstream into a river.

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