Sunday, May 26, 2019
Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called  for utilization of knowledge to make policies that foster creativity in a sustainable context.
Speaking today during the opening of the Sustainable Innovation Expo at the sidelines of the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4) the CS said securing the financing of eco-innovative business activities is critical as many can be costly.
“Eco-innovation and financing are important to Kenya, as it is to the world. Kenya has been following a linear development model, whereby goods that are consumed result in significant waste that is disposed in dumpsites,” the CS said.
This model goes against the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 12 which calls on States to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources and to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by 2030.
The Ministry of Environment is currently implementing a pilot project on industrial ecology  in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Kingdom of Denmark.
This project promotes a circular economy in the manufacturing sector by promoting industrial symbiosis whereby industries exchange waste and by-products for further processing into finished goods. This is a cradle-to-cradle approach and extends the life-cycle of products.
The CS was accompanied by the Minister of Estonia and President of UNEA4 Siim Valmar Kiisler, UN Environment Acting Executive Director  Joyce Msuya among others. #UNEA4 #SolveDifferent

The Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment’ that addresses the critical environmental challenges facing the world today, will take place from 11th -15th March 2019 at UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the focal point Ministry, and under the overall theme, ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production, UNEA4 will tackle how innovation is key both to solving many environmental challenges, as well as to accelerating sustainable development, and the meeting is expected to attract a cross-section of global stakeholders including: scientists, innovators, policy-makers, academia, youth groups, religious organizations, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, private sector, business and commerce, and sister UN agencies.

UNEA-4 will also address environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management including sustainable food systems, food security, halting biodiversity loss; life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and Innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.

The UNEA4 Assembly embodies a new era in which the environment is at the center of international community’s focus and will feature a series of meetings in response to the theme. These meetings include: Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum; One planet Summit, Science Policy and Business Forum; Private Sector and Sustainable Innovation EXPO; Faith for the Earth Initiative; Global Business Alliance for the Environment. Other activities during the Assembly will include the interactive Leadership Dialogues, the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue; national statements on the theme of the Assembly, topical side events, media events and exhibitions. There will also be several receptions that will be hosted including: working breakfasts, consultative luncheons and Gala dinner awards

There are 195 countries in the world today. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.


CS Receiving Token from Dr Azim Lakhani 2

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary KeriakoTobiko has underscored the need for corporate organizations to commit more of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets in conservation of the environment.

The CS has said that the government is grappling with effects of environmental degradation, arising from economic activities in the sea such as, Pollution from domestic, industrial and agricultural sources, oil and hazardous materials spill; which destroy the vital ecosystems habitats.

Speaking today at Khoja Mosque in Nairobi during a Fine Arts Exhibition of Marine Photography by Prince Hussain Aga Khan, Tobiko said that marine littering remains a challenge in the country and vouched for polices and legislations  to curb the menace.

He said that the government alone cannot be able to meet the10 % tree cover target and organizations like the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) should pursue common efforts in re-afforestation.

“Initiatives in conservation such as the Focused on Nature conservation fund which I understand is partly financed by the proceeds from conservation photography is commendable” he said.

The CS said that through Prince Hussain’s photography the world is able to see and appreciate the beauty and importance of our marine wildlife and ecosystem. Saying that, the beauty is likely to be lost if the current trends of environmental degradation continues.

Mr. Tobiko said that the government is considering options to ban the use of plastics pets, straws and disposable plastic cutlery as a measure to stop the production and use of plastics.

The CS said that the exhibition collection by Prince Hussain Aga Khan is a true display of exceptional passion for marine ecosystem photography and a deep desire to bring to our knowledge the wealth and diversity of what exists in our seas and oceans.

“I express our gratitude to the Aga Khan Development Network for giving nature a voice through documentaries and supporting Kenyas efforts towards the achievement of the 10% tree cover by 2022″. Said the CS.

The Government of Kenya he said appreciates efforts by the AKDN for supporting various social programmes in Kenya, particularly in the sectors of health, education and conservation including preservation of culture and heritage.

“I express our gratitude to the AKDN for giving nature a voice through documentaries and supporting Kenyas efforts towards the achievement of the 10% tree cover by 2022”  He added.

Mr. Tobiko said that oceans also provide critical ecosystem services and contain diverse coastal and marine ecosystems that support local and national economies and are a major supply source for the fishing industry and they also support the tourism industry as well as commerce and trade.

The CS said critical coastal and marine ecosystems sequester carbon. Large stock of earths blue carbon is stored in estuaries, coastal forests, mangroves, sea-grass beds and coral reefs, all these play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change as well as directly or indirectly, supporting the livelihood systems of people who live within the coastal zone.

Mr. Tobiko said the national government has put in place various legislation in the form of policies and Acts and is developing a new standalone sustainable solid waste management Policy and Bill to address our environmental concerns.

CS inside the Gallery 2


The proprietor of Funkids a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Ciiru Waweru Waithaka on displays some of the chip boards made from recycled wood materials during her presentation to CS Tobiko

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry KeriakoTobiko has called for inclusion of sustainable environmental education in the curriculum at primary school level to ensure environmental sustainability and culture change.

The CS spoke when he met the proprietor of a Funkidz a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) CiiruWaweruWaithaka who made a courtesy call on him to discuss issues of sustainable industrial innovation in Environment protection.

Mr. Tobiko noted that the upcoming United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4) was an appropriate platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S) such as Funkidz to showcase local innovation to wider audiences.

Funkidz has adopted a circular economy model and uses waste material from farmlands, schools, offices and homes to make furniture for children.

The government of Kenya has prioritized manufacturing and affordable housing as key pillars of the President’s Big Four Agenda towards uplifting the standard of living by 2030. It is instructive for industries to use local innovations to achieve the government priorities.

The Big Four Agenda relies on the availability of raw material that would guarantee the production of products that are sustainable and affordable.

CS KeriakoTobiko receives a stool made from recycled waste material from the proprietor of Funkids Ciiru Waweru Waithaka .


Inger Andersen of Denmark, who has been appointed as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term. COURTESY

Inger Andersen of Denmark, has been appointed as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, (UNEP), the coordinating body for the United Nations’ environmental activities for a four-year term.

In a press release on Thursday, 21st February, 2019, UNEP said, “Andersen brings a passion for conservation and sustainable development with more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policymaking, as well as in designing and implementing projects.” She has been serving as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2015, and she succeeds Erik Solheim, who resigned in November last year. Solheim’s resignation followed audit queries on his huge travel expenses amounting to Sh50 million.

“Deeply honoured to have been nominated by the UN Secretary General for the position of Executive Director UN Environment. At this critical time for the planet and for humankind, environmental stewardship has never been more important,” she said upon her appointment.

Andersen’s in-tray includes the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), which will take place from March 11-15 in Nairobi. The conference will address environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss, life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.

There are 195 countries in the world today. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine. UNEP’s mission is to  provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. he UNEP is the coordinating body for the United Nations’ environmental activities.

Joyce Msuya, from Tanzania, has been the acting executive director.


CS Keriako Tobiko listens keenly to the LVEMP Project Cordinator Ms. Francisca Owour during a brieffing on the archievements on LVMP 2

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary KeriakoTobiko has called on Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP) to come up with a long term solution to the invasive water hyacinth that has for long choked the lake.

The CS says it is imperative that a strategy is employed to get rid of the weed from the lake to enable thousands of residents derive a living from the resource.

He added “My Ministry is the leadagency in the removal of water hyacinth and we must rid the lake of weed once and for all”.

Mr. Tobiko made the remarks at his office when he received officials of the LVEMP who briefed him on various activities. The team was led by M/S Agnes Yobterick the programme’s focal point officer who is also the director of programmes, projects and strategic initiatives in the Ministry of Environment. She was accompanied by M/Francisca Owuor, the national programme coordinator.

The CS said that the removal of the weed is necessary for economic and environmental prosperity of the local communityand that it will allow other Ministries and government entities to implement projects that aim at making Kisumu city and its environs an economic hub.

Mr. Tobikoobserved that theproposed constructionof Kisumucommercial waterfront development would benefit from the removal of the weed from the lake.

The national government and Kisumu county government will develop the Lake Victoria leisure and tradewaterfront to boost tourism and investment in Western Kenya Circuit.

    • Rainfall Review

The review period saw a break in the hot and dry conditions that are typical of this season with several parts of the country recording rainfall.A comparison between the previous seven days (11th to 17thFebruary, 2019) with the period under review (18th to 24thFebruary, 2019) indicatesa significant increase in rainfall amounts over the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central and South Rift Valley and the Southeastern Lowlands.

Kwangamor Primary Schoolin Busia Countyrecorded the highest seven-day total rainfall of69.7mm. Other stations that recorded significant seven-day totals include VoiMeteorological Station(63.2mm), KisumuMeteorological Station(53.4mm), ButereRainfall Station(52.0mm), Mrangi Primary School in Taita Taveta County (43.5mm) and KakamegaMeteorological Station(38.8mm)as depicted in Figures 1 and 2.

A number of stations also recorded heavy rainfall (20 – 50mm within 24hours) and very heavy rainfall (>50mm within 24hours) within the review period. These include Voi Meteorological Station(58.2mm….read more


CS Tobiko receives a roofing material made from recycled waste from the Green Pavers Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Aghan Oscar .

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said there is need to give incentives to investors producing clean energy.

The CS has said that production of clean energy solutions will provide alternative clean energy that will reduce carbon emissions and deforestation.

Speaking today when he met members of the Green Mazingira Group which are producing briquettes from solid waste and water hyacinth, Mr. Tobiko said that production of clean energy will provide solution to climate change mitigation, by reducing deforestation, and provide practical management of solid waste in the country.

He said that there is need for policy regulations to order to increase the number of investors in the sector.

He said that production of wood free briquettes reduces overall garbage, methane emissions and encourages waste management adding that briquettes are cheaper than fire wood and charcoal.

CS Tobiko said that such ventures as the production of briquettes from solid wastes will be one sure way of turning wastes into treasure.

He said that there is need for having in place policies and guidelines on the production and sale of briquettes.

He said that the use of solid waste can replace fossil fuels, charcoal and natural firewood which are used in 80 percent of Kenyan households.

He urged the briquette producers to aggressively market their products which have a huge market and expressed confidence that the use of alternative source of clean energy is what will help in conserving our forests.

Green Pavers- the organization which is producing the briquettes, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Aghan Oscar urged the government to lift the ban on transportation of the charcoal briquettes to enable them sale the products.

CS Keriako Tobiko receives charcoal briquettes made from non wood solid waste , from a member of the Green Mazingira group.


Environment CS Keriako Tobiko , listens to a presentation by etsuro Fujitsuka Executive Managing Director Oversees Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan, on waste water recycling .

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary has said that environmental education and behavior change will help raise awareness on the dangers of dumping and environmental pollution.

The CS has said that majority of Kenyans lack information on the dangers of dumping and pollution coupled by lack of proper sanitation especially in the informal settlements.

Mr. Tobiko has said that most of the effluent and solid waste released to urban rivers comes from informal settlements, making it difficult to enforce regulations.

The CS made the remarks today when he met officials of a private Kenyan Japanese company that is dealing with installation of wastewater treatment plants in the country.

He said that there is need to include the aspect of waste water treatment in the waste management bill which is underway.

Usafi Comfort Director June Arunga said that Nairobi and many cities across the country are grappling with waste water, which could be instead treated and reused for irrigation and reuse in toilets.

Overseas Environment Cooperation Centre, Japan , Executive Managing Directive ,Tetsuro Fujitsuka said that the technology is safe and widely used in Japan and it will come in handy for water conservation while ensuring a clean environment.

CS Keriako Tobiko,(Left) receives documents on waste water recycling machine technology from (left ),June Arunga ,Director Usafi Comfort, (2nd Left),at the center
Tetsuro Fujitsuka
Executive Managing Director
Oversees Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan, Chief Administrative Secretary Joel Kitili (right)



The Director, (MEAs), Mr. Richard Mwendandu giving the PS remarks during the official opening of the technical seminar.

Sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is an important part of the Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs). For most African countries, Kenya included, an extensive effort is needed for the achievement of the SDGs, especially in Sub‐Saharan Africa, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Mr. Ali Noor Ismael has observed.

In remarks made on his behalf by the Director of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Mr. Richard Mwendandu, during the official opening of the Technical seminar for wastewater treatment and hygiene management towards achievement of the SDGs at a Nairobi hotel, the PS observed that, Current practices for water and wastewater treatment in Africa are insufficient to ensure safe water and basic sanitation. To address this challenge, joint efforts are needed, including transforming to green economy, innovating technologies, improving operation and maintenance, harvesting energy, improving governance and management, promoting public participation, and establishing water quality standards.

During the training seminar, the Japanese team, led by Mr. Yuji Hirose, a senior Environment expert from the Ministry of Environment, Japan, introduced the Johkasou technology, which is a Japanese National Standard for non-municipal sewage treatment. The Johkasou is an on-site wastewater treatment, used when there is no access to sewers and in high population density areas, for on-site wastewater treatment including water reclamation.

Addressing the same meeting, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Charles Hinga Mwaura, welcomed such innovative technologies as the government implements one of its four agendas of affordable housing.

Wastewater treatment is a process to convert wastewater, which is water no longer needed or suitable for its most recent use – into an effluent that can be either returned to the water cycle with minimal environmental issues or reused.

The Japanese team with the DMEAs in a memorable group photo.



CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, with the Director, Urban Rivers Rehabilitation Program, Mr. Akotsi at the Nbi river at the former South-End Mall at Lang’ata.DSC_0182

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Keriako Tobiko has directed NEMA to up it’s game in the rehabilitation and restoration of the Nairobi Rivers ecosystem.

The CS noted that, individuals and Government entities have been involved in discharging waste in the river and will not be spared in the on-going crackdown.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry under the Urban Rivers Restoration Program, has been undertaking the clean up exercise which involves removal of solid waste and re-afforestation.

The CS made the remarks when he made a conducted tour in Dagoretti, Kileleshwa, Westlands and Langata areas to inspect the clean up exercise.

He was accompanied by Chairman, NEMA Board of management, Mr. John Konchella, Director General,Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu and senior officials from his Ministry, led by Secretary Administration Joel Kitili, Director Urban Rivers Restoration Mr. Erick Akotsi, among other stakeholders.

CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, with officials from NEMA and the Ministry at Nbi river at the former U-KAY Mall in Westlands.DSC_0162


Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Mr. Ali Noor Ismail, speaking during the meeting.

Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Mr. Ali Noor Ismail, has called on private organizations to harness alternative sources of clean energy that don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gasses which accelerate effects of climate change.

The PS has said that exploitation and use of clean energy will help reduce the human reliance on the use of charcoal and firewood which are the major cause of destructions of forests.

Speaking today in Nairobi when he met officials of a private firm KOKO Networks which produces liquid ethanol cooking fuel as an alternative source of energy, the PS said that 80 percent of rural populations depend on firewood and charcoal as their major source of energy hence destroying vital forests.

He said that increased use of such energy which contains Carbon Dioxide increases the warmth of planet and is the main cause of global warming effects.

He said that use of alternative energy coupled with technology, such ventures will have comparable or better performance, without emitting carbon dioxide, hence they are clean and safe for the environment and humanity.

Koko Networks produces liquid ethanol as an alternative for cooking fuel, which delivers significant cost savings and quality of life improvements in the multi-billion dollar market for urban cooking fuel.

KOKO Networks (KOKO) has entered into partnership with Vivo Energy to supply the Kenyan market with for clean liquid ethanol cooking fuel.

KOKO Networks Chief Executive Officer Greg Murray, said that the use of ethanol fuel is cost effect and clean and that it will enable large populations   access to an affordable clean cooking fuel.


He said cooking fuel costs up to $20 billion in Africa’s largest cities, but many urban markets are dominated by deforestation-based charcoal, which has a detrimental effect on the environment and human health.



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