Friday, September 20, 2019

A member of Laibon community makes a point during a public hearing by the taskforce inquiring into the management of forests in the country. Indegenous committees control the use, protection and conservation of forests in Loita ecosystem in South Rift, north of Maasai Mara. The Maasai depend on the forests products for medicines and numerous cultural benefits. They say that conservation in foremost in their traditions which they are willing to share with other communities.

Members of the Laibon community in Loita hills,part of the Mau complex, address the taskforce looking into the management of forests in the country. The community called for strengthened collaboration between them, county and National Government to protect and conserve the indegenous forests. They demonstrated their role in protecting their ancestral land that hosts many shrines for their cultural practices.

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By Kinyanjui Munge

Dr. Ayub Macharia , Director Environmental Education and Awareness (with turban) in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry cuts a tape to officially open the event at the Light Schools in Karen

The Director, Environmental Education and Awareness Unit in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ayub Macharia, today kicked off the Golden Climate International Environmental Project Olympiad at the Light International School in Karen. The competition, now in its eighth edition, featured more than 200 projects by students from 19 countries around the globe. The Olympiad aims to promote environmentally sustainable innovations while raising environmental awareness among the young. Dr Macharia, representing of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry lauded the school for the initiative which he says will help in increasing awareness of environmental issues among the youth.

The theme of the competition this year is ‘Raising a Golden Generation to Achieve a Golden Climate’. The objectives of the Olympiad include promoting cultural integration, innovativeness and environmental awareness. Dr Macharia, in his opening remarks commented that the Olympiad enables young people to be aware of environmental challenges and to contribute in creating solutions to counter these challenges. He  reiterated that the Olympiad contributed greatly to what is documented in Kenya’s laws, policies and strategies and her commitment to sustainable development.

Dr Macharia insisted that it would be futile to attempt to reach Kenya’s ambitious development objectives without first changing the attitudes and values that the people have on sustainable development. “Behaviors such as irresponsible dumping of waste, overharvesting of natural resources, overconsumption and lack of respect for the environment, among others must be changed through education awareness,” he said. In addition, Dr Macharia remarked that the event was in tandem with various multilateral agreements made over the last several years to promote environmental awareness and sustainable development. In this regard, Dr Macharia assured the guests of the Ministry’s interest in the event and the outcomes thereof.  Ibrahim Bichachi, the Chairperson of Light International Schools, was positive that the projects exhibited today would transit to the real world and help in making a positive contribution to the environment.

Representing the Nigerian High Commission, Mr Syndolph Endoni remarked that the Olympiad was instrumental in promoting cultural integration, international cooperation and sustainable development. These remarks were echoed by the Nairobi County Director of Education, John Ololtuaa who commended the school for organizing the contest. The 201 projects on display were chosen from over 800 proposals from students around the world. The projects featured today were selected because of their novelty, uniqueness and feasibility of application.

 

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Principal Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry Mr. Charles T. Sunkuli, CBS [seated left in Suit], , The Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyongo’ center. Left, The Director Programmes, Projects and Strategic Initiatives/ National Focal Point Officer Ms. Agnes Yobterik, OGW and Right, LVEMP II – Kenya National Project Coordinator Ms. Francisca Owuor, HSC during a courtesy call to the Kisumu Governor .

County Governments play a major role in the success of development programmes and should be involved at all levels of the Project interventions.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Mr. Charles Sunkuli made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call to the Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyongo’ in his office.

The PS who was accompanied by the Director Projects, Programmes and Strategic Initiatives and who is also the LVEMP II – Kenya National Focal Point Officer Ms. Agnes Yobterik, the LVEMP II – Kenya National Project Coordinator Ms. Francisca Owuor, and other Project staff was on a visit to oversee the Project’s progress on its proposed transition to the third phase.

The PS decried the low tree cover in the County which stood at 0.4% and called for concerted efforts among all stakeholders in the region to ensure that afforestation programmes are well undertaken. He at the same time said the Ministry is looking into the development of quality seeds for adequate tree seedlings and seeds.

He enumerated some of the project interventions in the County including the Kisumu KISAT Sewerage Plant, provision of two exhausters to help in areas without sewer facilities among other interventions like Community Driven Development Sub Project groups who have benefitted from the project.

The PS stressed the need for stronger linkages and collaboration amongst stakeholders to ensure a cleaner shoreline in Kisumu noting that a lot can be achieved when cooperating with the County Government. The PS however, noted that the Lake Victoria Region boosts of a lot of Research studies which should be used to tackle the region problems.

The Governor Kisumu County Prof. Anyang’ Nyongo’ promised closer cooperation and working relationship with LVEMP II – Kenya in matters concerning environmental conservation and livelihoods improvement interventions of the Project and immediately directed the County Chief Officer for Water, Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources to ensure that there is  a County Focal Point Officer for LVEMP – Kenya.

The Governor reiterated his commitment in environmental issues saying that they are soon holding an international conference on investment in Water Resources in the Lake Region. At the same time, he noted that they will undertake a study on water volumes emptying into Lake Victoria with a view to addressing the decreasing water levels.

The Governor concurred with the PS on the low levels of tree cover noting that this was very evident in the Sugar Belt areas among others. He said that they have started a campaign of planting 3 million trees this season. He added that they have targeted 2 tree nurseries at each administrative ward, each School child to adopt a tree and rehabilitate the major Hills like Nyatigo Hill among others that were earlier forested but now devastated by human activities.

The PS later chaired presentation on the progress of Consultancy Services for the Feasibility Study and Detailed Design for Londiani and Oyugis Towns’ Sewerage Systems at the LVEMP – Kenya Board Room. Other Project progress matters were also addressed. The Project meeting was attended by the Director Projects, Programmes and Strategic Initiatives and who is also the LVEMP II – Kenya National Focal Point Officer Ms. Agnes Yobterik, OGW, The LVEMP II – Kenya staff.

The PS seated center Chairing LVEMP II – Kenya progress and presentation meeting at the Project boardroom in Kisumu and below, a presentation on the feasibility studies for Londiani and Oyugis Sewerage Systems.

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CS Keriako Tobiko assists Nolntiyokiene Lepasiwa plant a tree at Entarara Catchment Area in Olitoktok, Kajiado County.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko has decried the wanton destruction of many water catchment areas at oloitokitok region in Kajiado County.

He said it was a pity that the local community did not care about environment conservation which was the source of their livelihood and that of the future generations.

During a fact finding tour, Mr. Tobiko visited Entarara, Rombo and Oloitokitok catchment areas and are sources of rivers supplying water to Mzima springs and parts of coastal region.

The CS said the Ministry of Environment would work closely with the Kajiado County government to demarcate and protect Entarara and Rombo catchment areas in order to keep off encroachment by local farmers.

CS Keriako Tobiko inspects a water source during his tour of Oloitoktok, Kajiado County.

He directed chiefs and the grassroots security committees to be vigilante and identify individuals who were said to collude with foreigners and were illegally felling trees around the water sources.

Chiefs he noted will be held personally accountable for any trees destroyed in their areas of jurisdiction adding that concerted efforts by the community and the two levels of government was necessary to restore the environment and water catchment areas.

Mr. Tobiko led residents of Maroroi and Entarara catchment areas in planting over 1000 tree seedlings. He advised pupils of Ndarara primary school to protect the newly planted trees to enable them mature for future use.

CS Keriako Tobiko accompanied by Environment Secretary, Dr Alice Kaudia makes a point when he addressed residents of Entarara Catchment Area in Oloitoktok, Kajiado County.

He said that Entarara area which is the source of river Namunyelele and Lolkoroi will soon be gazetted as a protected water catchment to ward off potential encroachment.

At Rombo springs, residents complained that well connected people were to blame for illegal felling of trees causing degradation and gradual drying of the water source.

The CS advised the County government of Kajiado to demarcate land around the water sources and collaborate with the Kenya Forest Service and the Water resources Management Authority to protect and restore the wells.

KFS Head of Nairobi Conservancy, Andrew Soi, explains a point to Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko at Entarara Forest. Looking on is Gitonga Mathenge and James Sankale.

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CS Keriako Tobiko (Centre) makes a point during the bilateral meeting with the delegation from the United Kingdom government

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko hosted the United Kingdom Parliamentary under Secretary of State for the Environment Thérèse Coffey who paid a courtesy call at his office.

The two held discussions centered on a wide range of issues among them, the queen’s commonwealth canopy, a unique network of forests conservation among the 53 member states.

Other subjects were the upcoming blue economy conference to be held in Kenya in November. Solid waste management, plastic bottles, plastic carrier bags and climate change were also deliberated on.

The CS said Kenya is among the first countries in the world to have a Climate Change Act (2016) an Act of Parliament that provides for a regulatory framework for enhanced response to climate change. It provides for mechanisms and measures to achieve low carbon climate development and for connected purposes that deals with climate change issues.

A group photo of the Kenyan and the United Kingdom delegations after the Bilateral meeting

The United Kingdom has provided assistance during the formulation of some Acts of parliamentary and regulations in Kenya.

The UK Minister for environment said the queen’s commonwealth canopy is the one single environment initiative which Queen Elizabeth has associated herself with personally.

The initiative that is being implemented by International Tree Foundation (ITF) has been proposed by Commonwealth countries wanting to harness their collective expertise and resources to protect the world’s forests.

Kenya has submitted the draft memoranda of understanding between ITF and Kenya Forest Service on the Queen Canopy to the Attorney General for advisory.

CS Keriako Tobiko with UK Under Secretary of State for environment Theresa Coffey MP. when she paid her a courtesy call.

CS Keriako Tobiko welcomes UK Under Secretary of State for Environment Theresa Coffey to Kenya as the two hold a bilateral meeting

Under the initiative Kenya plans to plant 20 million tree seedlings between 2016 – 2024.

 

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Forecast for the next seven days (3rd to 9th April, 2018)….Read More

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The Deputy President Mr. William Ruto, has approved a request to extend the tenure of office by the Taskforce established to inquire into forest resources management and logging activities in Kenya.

The taskforce was tasked to deliver an interim report after 14 days and a complete report within 30 days after the 5th of March 2018. It presented the interim report to the Environment Cabinet Secretary on the 19th of March and the findings and recommendations are under active consideration by the executive.

There are a number of critical activities that are still pending including field visits, consultative meetings, public hearings and an in-depth analysis of the pertinent memoranda, petitions and requests received by the taskforce which led to request for extension of their tenure.

The Deputy President through communication relayed by Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. keriako Tobiko  granted a 30 day extension to the taskforce to enable it to conclusively tie up  the assignment.

The Deputy President has also instructed the Cabinet Secretary to urgently convene a consultative meeting to address and clarify issues of concern raised by stakeholders regarding the scope of the earlier declared moratorium on the Taskforce. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the first week of April.

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CS Keriako Tobiko waters a tree with students of A.IC Kajiado Girls Boarding School in Kajiado County.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has launched a million indigenous tree planting drive in Kajiado County.

The CS led schools in a tree planting exercise in an effort to achieve the desired 10% forest cover by 2022.

Kajiado County has a forest cover of 3.6% 7.4 short of the constitutionally accepted 10% forest cover. Among the environmental challenges facing the county is an abated environmental destruction of trees for charcoal burning.

While the 90 days moratorium on the ban of logging still stands, the CS says the ban on use of charcoal as a source of energy is the only way to address illegal logging as the government seeks to provide alternatives.

CS Keriako waters a tree at Moi girls High School in Kajiado County.

The CS on Saturday led 7 schools in Kajiado East and Central in planting 7,000 indigenous trees seedlings. Some of the schools included Isinya Vocational training institute, Moi Girls High School Isinya, Olkejuado Secondary & Primary among other schools.

CS Keriako Tobiko with students of Ole Kejuado Secondary School.

The CS also met with Community leaders in Mailwa and Oldoinyo Orok group ranches in Namanga where he promised to look into boundaries issues and implementation of recommendations of a taskforce report that was done earlier.

 

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PS Charles Sunkuli addresses ADB officials on appraisal mission for Green Zones Support Project

The African Development Bank is considering a 50 million United States dollar development assistance to Kenya if an ongoing appraisal mission on the forestry sub-sector is successful.

The Principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli said if successful the funds would be used to strengthen the human resource base and upgrade technology of the Kenya Forest Service whose capacity was currently below the expected standards.

The funds would be utilized through the “Green Zones Development Support Project Phase 2”, whose appraisal mission runs between 19th -30th \March 2018.

He noted that KFS would be targeting to increase the level of forest rangers from the current 2,500 to over 5,000 in five years in a bid to install a 24 hour forest surveillance that would forestall the rampant illegal felling of trees and charcoal burning.

Mr. Sunkuli expressed concern that illegal charcoal burning in protected forests was a booming business during night fall owing to the inadequate number of forest rangers patrolling vast areas of plantations.

The PS told a visiting ADB mission who paid a courtesy call on him today that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry was focusing on forests protection and conservation in the areas of communication systems, Inventory, technology and observation techniques.

He noted that future development assistance should center on improving livelihoods for communities living near forests who lacked credit facilities and conservation awareness.

Mr Sunkuli said “future support should diversify from bee keeping to commercial charcoal production in individual farms” adding that the Ministry was committed to support the forestry sector to contribute immensely to the national economy.

The ADB team was led by Mr. Onesmus Maina, a senior Agricultural Expert and comprised Mr. Ambrose Oroda, a climate change expert and Mr. Sam Sakwa. Others in the appraisal mission were M/S Agnes Yobterik, Director of Programs and Projects in the Ministry and KFS officials Mr.  Gitonga  Mathenge and Mr. Jerome  Mwanzia.

The ADB team leader said that the Bank would explore ways of increasing funding to the Forestry sub-sector and advocate for value addition to the forestry products.

PS Sunkuli during the apprasal mission which will fund forestry sub-sector with 50 million USD if successful.

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