Friday, September 20, 2019

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 plants Vitex Keniensis (Meru Oak) at Kanyakine High School he is flanked by Meru Governor Hon Kiraitu Murungi among other leaders

Meru GovernorKiraituMurungihas said his government is keen to achieve 40% forest cover by 2040.

The ambitious plan he said will be achieved through concerted efforts from all stakeholders as envisioned in Meru Vision 2040.

“We are working with the national government and Kenya Forest Service for sustainable forest management and eco-tourism”. He said.

The Governor said his county has gazzeted six community hills which had been affected by deforestation.

He urged Environment CS to make Meru great in terms of environmental conservation the way he made a local institution, Kanyakine High School great when he was a student there and scored top marks in the final national examination.

On her part Meru CEC for Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Prof KarwithaKiugu called for extensive tree growing since well managed trees benefited the environment.

“We have embarked on fruit trees and bamboo growing along riverine and on hill tops in order to mitigate the effects of climate change as well as provide livelihoods for our people” She added.

The leaders were speaking today at Kanyakine High School at the launch of the national school tree planting campaign.

The Meru County Govenor Hon. Kiraitu Murungi plants a commemorative tree at Kanyakine High , he is flanked by Anne Tek, board member representing the C.O.G and Meru CEC for Environment, Natural Resources , Prof. Ka

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Significant rainfall was reported over the Lake Victoria Basin, the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, and the Central and South Rift Valley,as depicted inFigure 1. The Central Highlands, the Coast and the Northwest received light to moderate rainfall. The Northeast and the Southeast Lowlands remained mainly dry.A comparison between the previous seven days (17th to 23rd June, 2019)with the period under review (24th to 30thJune, 2019) indicatesa general reduction in rainfall amounts across the country although some stations in the Western Highlands and the Rift Valley recorded increases.

Katimok Kenya Forest Service Station in Baringo Countyrecorded the highest seven-day total rainfall of 100.1mm. Other stations that recorded significantrainfall totals during the review period include ATC Koibatek in Baringo County (87.9mm), Kabarnet D.C’s Office in Baringo County (86.1mm), Nakuru Meteorological Station (70.9mm), KitaleMeteorological Station (69.9mm), KisiiMeteorological Station (66.8mm), Kakamega Meteorological Station (54.1mm), and Kapsara Tea Factory in Trans-Nzoia County (51.1mm)as depicted in Figure 2……read more

July Forecast 2019…..Read more

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Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called for Building Climate Resilience for the urban poor who are the most affected by climate change.

The CS says building of climate resilience will help those affected to connect their own adaptation efforts with mapping and validation.

In a speech read on his behalf by Environment Principal Secretary, Dr Ibrahim Mohamed during a meeting on climate change action tracks in Abu Dhabi, Tobiko called on the world leaders to identify buildings, transport, urban resilience for the poor as outcomes. They should alsodecentralize finance and sub-national mobilization as enablers he added.

“Decentralized finance and sub-national mobilization  are the catalyst for the important role that cities must play, as they are at the forefront of housing and basic service delivery, infrastructure, recovery after the impacts are felt among others” said Tobiko.

The CS raised concern that buildings and transport are the highest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and therefore provide the quickest and impactful opportunity to address the climate crisis.

The CS vouched for a link in the bottom-up efforts and strengthening local government capacities and building enabling national policy frameworks and enhancement of Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans.

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CS Keriako Tobiko stressing a point during the discussions with the team from UN environmnet led by the UN Executive Director Inger Andersen

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko has lauded United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for its commitment and support for environmental programs in the country.

Speaking today when UNEP Executive Director  Inger Andersen paid him a courtesy, the CS said that the government will continue working with UNEP in key priority areas.

The areas of collaboration include increasing the country’s forest cover to 10%, waste management, blue economy, enhance capacities in the 47 counties, public education and awareness among others.

Tobiko congratulated the new Executive Director and assured her of continued support for the organization, saying the relationship will be enhanced in all areas of cooperation.

CS Keriako Tobiko with UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen when she paid him a courtesy call at his office.

The CS underscored the need for involvement of indigenous communities in conservation through incentives as away to ensure ownership in natural resource management.

The UNEP Executive Director reaffirmed the organizations commitment to support the Kenyan Government in environmental conservation and management priority areas.

She said that exposure to contaminated environment can be linked to poor health and provision of clean health environment will be a key priority area.

She applauded the Kenya government’s efforts in environmental conservation and more so the ban on single use plastic bags.

CS Keriako Tobiko with top ministry officials during the Discussions with the UNEP Executive Inger Anderson .

 

 

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Environment CS Keriako Tobiko speaks to residents of Chara in Tana Delta (1)

Sally Mzolazola, 86 years old man from Chara in Tana Delta is a worried man. For the past 10 years waters from Kalota brook has turned salty making it unfit for human consumption, farming, fishing and livestock use.

Kalota brook is the lifeline of the people of Chara who are farmers and pastoralists. But water from the canal is contaminated with salt killing marine life, livestock and is a health risk to the local populace.

The water mixes with the inflow from the Indian Ocean due to decreased water levels in the canal allowing water flow in both directions. According to residents this is due to the river’s water abstraction downstream used for irrigation.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said there is need for a multi sectoral approach in dealing with the phenomenon and directed NEMA to initiate a short-term intervention awaiting a lasting solution to the problem.

“I will marshal the support of my colleagues in health, water, interior and energy Ministries, since restoring the Tana Delta ecosystem needs a multi sectoral approachand will ensure that the President’s Big Four Agenda is also achieved” the CS said.

The Ali WarionMP Ali Wariodecried the state of the water for the people of Chara and the uncontrolled growth and spread of the prosopis prunus plant locally known as ‘Mathenge’ saying an urgent intervention wasneeded.

He echoed the Tana River SenatorJumaWario appreciation of Environment CSKeriako Tobiko quick response to the environmental challenges facing the region.

Tana River Delta is a Ramsar ConventionSiteand the second most important estuarine and deltaic ecosystem in Eastern Africa. It supports a variety of coastal and marine plant and animal species, including five species of threatened marine turtles and IUCN red-listed African elephant.

The site also provides feeding and wintering ground for several migratory water birds. Activities carried out on the site include fishing, small-scale domestic-oriented agriculture, mangrove wood exploitation, grazing, water supply, tourism and research.

NEMA DG Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu committed to use the restoration fund to commence work in July as guided by the Land Use Management plan.

The CS was accompanied by Tana River Senator JumaWario, Garsen MP Hon. Ali Wario, Galolemp Said Hiribae ,NEMA board member  Halima Ware, KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau among others dignitaries.

 

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