Thursday, February 20, 2020

A group photo of the Ministers and part of the delegates attending the COP 9, Conference at the English point Hotel, Mombasa.

Plans are underway to establish trans-boundary marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean at the country’s border with Tanzania, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Mr. Keriako Tobiko has said.

The setting-up of an estimated 800 square Kilometres of protected area is part of the government’s effort to tackle marine pollution and enhance blue economy he added.

The CS was speaking in Mombasa when he opened the ninth conference of parties to the Nairobi convention whose theme was sustainable ocean economy for wealth creation.

Mr. Tobiko said that the conference will promote sustainable investments in the blue resources and unlock the potential of the oceans frontier.

Among the member countries attending the conference that attracted over 200 delegates were Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Madagascar, Seychelles, South Africa, Somalia and France la Reunion.

During the conference, CS Tobiko was elected chair to the Convention, to serve for two years taking over from Mr.Wallace Cosgrow of Sychelles. Others elected were Madagascar-vice-chair work programs, Mauritius-Resource mobilization, and Tanzania for coordination. The rapporteur’s position went to the republic of Sychelles.

Mr. Tobiko noted that the Oceans had huge potential for human wellbeing that would boost economic growth and tackle unemployment. Further the blue resources addressed food insecurity, poverty and had gained traction worldwide he added.

He said Kenya like other countries in the region , Kenya attached great value to the oceans and the blue resources that contributed immensely to the country’s economy.

‘’ The government in recognition of the importance of the blue economy, has established a state department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy as part of efforts to maximise on the contributions of the blue resources’’ the CS observed.

Mr. Tobiko said that various sectors at the coastal region including tourism, marine transport, shipping, offshore gas and oil exploration and fisheries all played an important role in Kenya’s economic growth.

Further he added that the government had put in place a Blue Economy Implementation Strategy and had identified the Blue Economy as a thematic area in the third Medium Term Plan (MTP 111) that guides the country’s development process every five years.

The government he said had over the last few years made huge investments in Infrastructure at the coast in a bid to open up the blue resources. They included Ndongo-kundu by-pass linking Nairobi-Mombasa highway to the south coast, Makupa-causeway expansion to decongest Mombasa city; expansion of Mombasa port container terminal and the Lamu Port, South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) that was considered as the most ambitious infrastructural development in Africa.

The convention is a precursor to the Blue Economy Conference to be held in November in Nairobi attracting an estimated over 6,000 delegates worldwide.

Env &Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko address COP 9,Conference at English Point Hotel,Hotel mombasa.

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The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko has promised to undertake efforts to rehabilitate the Enoosupukia forest.

This will be in support of the previous work done by the Government and other leaders from the region e.g former Minister William Ole Ntimama.

The CS also said that his Ministry will prioritize gazzetment of the Mount Suswa water tower in Narok County.

He reiterated that illegal settlers must leave the Mau Forest as the eviction process goes on.”The remaining illegal settlers must move out immediately “, the CS said.

The Government is keen on protection of all forests ecosystems in the country. The Government directed that those who had encroached into the forests to move out immediately.

Tobiko sad that the Mau issue should not be politicized and is not targeting any tribe. Over 13,000 hectares have already been reclaimed and reforestation exercise is set to begin in September this year.

The same sentiments where echoed by the Deputy President. The two had attended an inter-denominational prayer day at Suswa girls secondary school compound, that was attended by thousands of worshipers.

The deputy president said that the government was keen on achieving the big 4 agendas. He announced that the Government would now offer Kshs 30,000/= bursary to students joining youth polytechnics,

Also present were the Narok Governor H.E Samuel Tunai, Legislator, Korei Lemein Narok South, Ken Aramat Narok East,George Suruiya Kajiado West and Mr. Cherargei Kiprotich, the Nandi Senator among other leaders

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Significant rainfall was recorded within parts of the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central and South Rift Valley and the Coast as depicted in Figures 1 and 2. Comparing the current review period (20th to 26th August, 2018) to the previous week (13th to 19th August, 2018) it is noted that there was an increase in rainfall amounts over the said areas while the rest of the country remained mostly dry.

During the period under review, Kaimosi Tea Factory (in Vihiga County) recorded the highest seven-day total rainfall of 130.5mm. Other stations that recorded significant total rainfall amounts include Eldoret Airport (111.6mm), Kakamega (110.2mm), Kericho (80.5mm), Butere (72.4mm) and Kapenguria WRMA (72.1mm)…..read more

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The Ministry in collaboration with the UNEP has organized the Ninth Conference of Parties (COP 9) to the Nairobi Convention to be held in Mombasa. This is an initiative by the Western Indian Ocean states, private sector, and the civil society groups to aid in the sustainable exploitation of the coastal resources.

This year’s theme is ‘Sustainable Ocean Economy for Wealth Creation’ It focuses on tapping into the blue economy opportunities through the 2030 agenda on sustainable development. This will be actualized by working with different partners and stakeholders, such as Consortium for Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO-C), Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), World Wide Fund (WWF), Global Environment Facility (GEF) amongst others.

COP 9 is as precursor to the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference that will be held in Nairobi in November this year that is expected to bring together over 6,000 delegates from across the globe.

Delegates started arriving at the coastal city over the weekend in preparation for the two day event slated for 30th -31st August. Before the main conference, there will be high level meetings to discuss pertinent issues. Kenya, Comoros, France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, and South Africa are members of the Nairobi Convention.

The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko is expected to officially open the conference on Thursday.

The Nairobi Convention operations started in 1996, with the aim of controlling and addressing the increasing rates of coastal areas and the oceans. The core principles, which form the basis for the COP operations are the sustainable exploitation and use of coastal resources by member states.

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According to a report by the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI), the plant was introduced in Kenya in the 1970s, among other species from South America to rehabilitate the Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (ASALs), due to its resilience, fast growth rate and its many uses for fodder, honey production, shade, windbreak, firewood, building poles among other uses.

On establishment, the tree aggressively invaded areas of indigenous vegetation, and manifested negative impact on rural landscapes as well as on human and livestock health. The largest biomass of Mathenge in Kenya is found in Tana River,Turkana and Baringo counties according to the report. Other areas where it is found are Taita Taveta, Malindi, Samburu, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Kajiado and Migori Counties.

Among other uses apart from those mentioned before, Prosopis pods are valuable source of carbohydrates, sugar and proteins for livestock and, occasionally human population during dry seasons.

Although the plant provides all those benefits, if left unmanaged, it has direct and indirect negative impacts to man and the environment which includes: – Colonization and devastation of critical grazing land, farmlands and rangelands, Blockage of roads, footpaths, human settlement, irrigation canals, river banks and water points and other habitats, death of livestock through over eating of pods (causing indigestion) and occasional tooth decay (due to high sugar content of pods) among others.

Studies of Prosopis growth in Kenya have shown that its invasive, gregarious and powerful colonization characteristics are best manifested in conditions of high water table in such areas as ravines floodplains and swamps. This leads to serious conflict with human activities.

Some of the important wetlands already invaded or with high potential of invation include River Tana Delta, (Tana River County) Lorian Swamp (Isiolo/Garissa Counties) Lengurruahanga swamp (Kajiado) among others.

The potential ecological disaster caused by prosopis invasion on the wetlands ecosystem is demonstrated by the near impossible complete eradication of the species once established.

Kenya Forestry Service KFS and KEFRI have taken numerous measures to address the prosopis menace among them;- Undertaking a National survey to determine the status and impact of prosopis species on livelihoods and on environment, developing a national strategy for the management of prosopis which underlines the management of prosopis through utilization, Soliciting technical support from Food and Agricultural Organization for the United Nations (FAO), (successful pilot project undertaken in Baringo County), to empower local communities in affected areas in mechanical control  through thinning and pruning and killing of stumps, utilization (making various products) and trials in biological control.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko while visiting some of the most affected areas in Garissa County, advised local residents to tap the benefits from the tree for economic gains and better livelihoods.

Out of the sensitization tour by the CS, local farmers from Fafi and Ijara Constituencies in Garissa County led by their legislators Abdikarim Osman and Sophia Abdi shall be visiting Baringo County, for a familiarization and learning experience on an integrated management and control of Prosopis.

 

 

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Env.&Forestry PS Susan Mochache listens to a presentation from Toyota Tsusho E.A ltd representatives in areas of waste management and Hybrid vehicles. The company chairman Dennis Awori was the company’s team leader.

Increased amounts of medical and hazardous waste in the country compels the government to urgently construct a disposal plant, the Principal Secretary for Environment and Forestry M/S Susan Mochache has said.

She confirmed that her Ministry would expedite the process of finalizing land acquisition to pave way for construction of the plant through the support of the Japanese Government at a cost sh. 1.2 billion.

The PS noted that waste management was a priority for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry considering that various sectors of the economy were daily churning out tons of waste but the disposal methods were inadequate.

M/S Mochache was speaking in her office during a courtesy call in her office by the Chairman of Toyota Tsusho East Africa Limited Mr. Dennis   Awori who presented various activities the company undertakes in the country and the region.

Toyota Tsusho trades in Kenya as Toyota Kenya and is involved in waste management and Hybrid Vehicles that were environmental friend through their low carbon emission.

The PS said that the government appreciated the Hybrid vehicles technology which was a step closer to the electric vehicle, the anticipated most friendly environmental innovation for low carbon emission.

During the meeting Mr. Awori, a former Kenya Ambassador to Japan confirmed that his company would participate in the November 26th -28th Global Blue Economy Conference to be held in Mombasa.

The company will exhibit maritime equipment and waste management technology that promoted the environment.

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Principal Secretary, Ms. Susan Mochache (in red top) poses for a group photograph with Netfund senior managers at their offices.

Principal Secretary Ms. Susan Mochache toured Netfund offices and held discussions with the top management.  She was impressed with their work and committed to support them in all ways to meet the aspirations of Ministry and the Government.

She challenged the team to enhance awareness creation of their activities and especially among the youth in order for them to come up with innovative solutions for key projects aligned to all sectors of the Ministry e.g forestry, waste management, and Nairobi river regeneration activities to be replicated across the counties.

Ms. Mochache observed that with sustained awareness creation and hyped publicity activities, young people can engage in various projects like growing seedlings and selling them to wananchi to improve their livelihoods and at the same time help increase the forest cover.

She challenged the organization to develop programmes that will support the government to achieve this goal and many others. She also urged them to come up with programmes that are aligned to the Big 4 agenda of the government namely; food and nutrition security, manufacturing, universal health care and affordable housing.

Ms. Mochache cautioned the team against misappropriation of public funds warning that those found culpable will face the full face of the law.

Present at the meeting was Ms. Catherine Ndegwa, the Chief Executive Officer and top managers.

 

 

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July 26, 2018

Principal Secretary Ms. Susan Mochache hands over a cheque worth USD4m to representatives of SGP beneficiaries.

Principal Secretary Ms. Susan Mochache launched the 6th operational phase of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme in Kenya worth USD4m.

The GEF was launched in 1993 and is implemented by UNDP as a global program. It channels financial, technical and capacity building assistance directly to civil society organizations for activities that conserve the environment while at the same time enhancing people’s livelihoods.

Special consideration is given to projects that support women groups, the youth, indigenous persons and persons living with disabilities.  In this phase three ecological sensitive areas of global and national significance were selected for the implementation of the programme. These are; Lake Bogoria as part of the Kenya Lake system in the Great Rift Valley, the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, and the biodiversity rich marine ecosystem of Shimoni –Vanga seascape in Southern Kenya.

While these areas provide important ecosystem services to the country and are essential for the livelihoods of pastoralist, agricultural and fisher communities, they all present different levels of biodiversity loss and land degradation exacerbated by climate change.

The programme will support creation of synergies between individual grants by adopting a landscape or seascape approach, promote the establishment and effective operation of a multi stakeholder platform, develop knowledge management products that will highlight best practices and eco knowledge fairs.

It will also support improvement on food and nutrition security by supporting small scale agro and pastoral farmers to promote indigenous food consumption and diversification of staple foods in addition to application of sound agro ecological practices and principles, support sustainable grazing practices and herd management and lastly, strengthen governance of beach management units for improved management of fisheries.

During the launch three community projects were feted for being the Equator prize 2017 winners.  They were; Mikoko Pamoja from Kwale county, Kuruwitu from Kilifi county and Kibra Anti FGM activities and resource centre.

SGP is part of a worldwide program that operates in 125 countries and has provided technical and financial support to over 500 community based projects in various parts of the country.

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August 2, 2018

Principal Secretary Ms. Susan Mochache samples one of the specimens in the Insect Collection Lab at KEFRI headquarters

Principal Secretary Ms. Susan Mochache visited Kefri offices in Muguga yesterday on a familiarization tour of the institute.  She was impressed with the work done there and urged staff to double the production capacity to ensure the country has enough seedlings to plant 2billion trees and increase the forest cover to 10%.

She referred to staff as the ‘quiet and unsung heroes’ of the country for the remarkable work they do in the background to ensure that there are enough quality tree seedlings in the country to conserve the environment. She pledged to support the institution to realize its objectives and to ensure trees are planted to keep afforestation alive and restore the environment to acceptable standards.

Ms. Mochache pledged support in marshalling resources and championing the development of a communication strategy to create and enhance awareness on their activities in the country and beyond.  ‘I will champion to to lift the profile of Kefri to be visible to attract resources in view of the significant role they play in the region, ‘she said.

Ag. Director Dr. Jane Njuguna highlighted some of the challenges like lack of a substantive CEO, shortage of staff, lack of resources and aging staff.  On the issue of a CEO, Ms. Mocahche pledged to follow it up with the Cabinet Secretary to ensure that a CEO is appointed as soon as possible.  She noted that the process of recruitment was on course and the Cabinet Secretary will act accordingly.

KEFRI has a Seed Centre that processes about 10,000tonnes of seeds or roughly 200m seeds every year from 80 species and shrubs and have plans to double the capacity this year. It has five (5) eco regions across the country namely: central highlands, coastal region in Gede, Lake Victoria in Maseno, Dry land region in Kitui and Rift Valley in Londiani.

Karibu Sana Madam. Dr. Jane Njuguna, Ag. Director KEFRI (leff) receives Ms. Susan Mochache, Principal Secretary ME&F when she toured the insitute.

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Tuesday 17th July, 2018

Ms.  Susan Mochache is the new Principal Secretary in the Ministry. She took over today from Charles Sunkuli who has been moved to the State Department of Devolution in the same capacity.  She joins the Ministry from the State Department of Social Protection,

Addressing Heads of Departments, Ms. Mochache said she was excited to join the Ministry and its staff to efficiently and effectively serve the citizenry of this country. She challenged staff to be steadfast and accountable in their performance of their duties so as to make a difference in the environment sector.

She reiterated her commitment to serving the country adding that she will solely depend on the technical people to steer the sector forward. She promised to personally engage with everyone to know them and what they do in order to foster strong working relationships.

Chief Administrative Secretary Mohammed Elmi welcomed Ms. Mochache to the Ministry assuring her that she has a fantastic team to work with. He asked the outgoing PS Charles Sunkuli to be the Ministry’s ambassador in his new station. He noted that challenges that were being experienced by the Ministry when dealing with counties will now be sorted out.

Ms. Mochache pledged an open door policy type of management adding that she will encourage a consultative process in handling all matters in the environment sector.

We welcome Ms. Susan Mochache and wish her well on her tour of duty in the Ministry. We also wish Mr. Sunkuli all the best in his new jurisdiction.

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