Sunday, May 26, 2019

CS Tobiko( Right) , CS Tourism Najibu Balala (centre) and Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o (Left) at the governors office after the meeting for the CS’s and leaders from Kisumu County

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has directed Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), to map out and issue notices to both public and private entities that are discharging waste to Rivers and lakes .

The CS lamented that some public institutions are culprits  of pollutions , and they will be dealt with in accordance to the law.
He made the remarks today in Kisumu after meeting with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga , and Cabinet Secertaries Najib Balala , Raphael Tuju, and Kisumu Governor HE Anyang’ Nyong’o.
The CS said Pollution of the lake threatening livelihoods and marine life .
The leaders were on a site visit to the Kisumu Pier where work on removal of the water hyacinth and rejuvenation of the Lake Victoria ecosystem is being done.
The project is aimed at regenerating Kisumu city to a eco friendly and revamp tourism and trade through the lake region block.
The excercise is a replica of the Nairobi and Mombasa  cities regeneration program.
CS Tobiko later visited Kachok damp-site which is being reclaimed and re-afforested.
He also visited Flexi Domestic Systems a private firm harvesting and processing the water hyacinth for bio-gas production.
Mr. Tobiko said the Government is exploring mechanical and biological ways of dealing with lake Victoria hyacinth.
During his tour , the CS was accompanied by Kenya Forest Research Institute  (KEFRI ) Acting  Director Dr. Jane Njuguna, Director Programs and Projects Agnes Yobterik and officials from NEMA,  Kenya Forestry Service , National Environmental Trust Fund (NETFUND)and Kenya Water Towers.

CS was accompanied by Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI ) Acting Director Dr. Jane Njuguna, Director Programs and Projects Agnes Yobterik and officials from NEMA, Kenya Forestry Service , National Environmental Trust Fund (NETFUND)and Kenya Water Towers.

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CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko consulting with the PS, Mr. Ali Noor Ismail during the tour of the Nairobi river basin

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko has directed that individuals, companies and public institutions discharging raw waste into Nairobi River be charged for the offence.

The CS said today that pollution of the rivers undermines the realization of universal health and food security which is among the country’s big four Agenda.

The CS directive comes after an inspection exercise where it was found out that landlords and property owners in the informal settlement are emptying raw sewage into the river instead of channeling to the sewer line.

The CS found that crops and water consumed by residents along the Nairobi River Basin is contaminated with raw sewage.

Mr. Tobiko was on a fact finding mission along the Nairobi river basin, he visited Kirichwa Kubwa, Kinyanjui, Dagoretti, Kileleshwa and Westlands areas, where the river passes through.

CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko with PS, Mr. Ali Ismail and DG, NEMA, Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu at the Nairobi river during the tour.689A4800

The CS also inspected the on-going cleanup of the river which includes removal of sludge,   clearing of the banks, unblocking of water ways and re-afforestation. The project has engaged 600 youths on casual basis.

The 42 KM Nairobi rivers source is Kikuyu highlands, and it flows through Nairobi then to the city’s Eastland’s.

The cleanup is an ongoing exercise aimed at restoring Nairobi city’s lost glory.

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Officials from the National and County government viewing a solar heating panel at the Wote TTI

Kenya has not harnessed most of its potential solar energy despite receiving heavy doses of radiation, Principal Secretary of Environment and Forestry Ali Noor Ismail says.

The country lacks experts to carry out installation, maintenance and repair of solar heating systems the PS observed.This has led the country to have insignificant harnessing of the renewable energy despite the high potential Mr. Ismail added.

His remarks were made in speech read on his behalf during the launch of a solar water heating manual at Wote Technical Training Institute today. It was read by Dr. Charles Mutai, the Director of Climate Change in the Ministry.He said that Kenya receives solar radiation of 4-6 kilowatt hour per square meter per day which was adequate for both lighting and water heating applications across the country. He noted that Kenya was proud to have renewable energy that constituted about 70 percent of the country’s installed electric power from sources such as solar energy.

Mr. Ismail observed that clean and efficient energy systems provided solutions to mitigation of climate change alinfside enhancing mitigation. He said climate change was one of the most serious challenge Kenya faced in the recent years with unprecedented impact through social economic losses. The PS enumerated the economic sectors of Agriculture, livestock, tourism, forestry and fisheries as among those facing the devastating impacts of climate change.

“The increasing instensity of extreme climate change events threaten the attainment of the country’s vision 2030 and suatainable development goals” mr. Ismail added.

To mitigate against these effects the PS ssid that Kenya had developed a robust policy and legislative frameworks that addressed the uptake of solar energy technologies.

The solar water heating manual to be used for training technicians were distributed to 10 Technical Training Institutes across the country.The manuals were developed by a team of experts headed by scientists from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology under the Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development program in the Ministry

The launch was attended by Prof. Robert Kinyua, the deputy vice. Chancellor incharge of academics at JKUAT, Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed, Wote TTI Principal Felix Mung’ato , Dr. Harun Warui the project Manager of Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development program among others.

A group photo of representatives from ten technical training institutes that are piloting the solar heating manual

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Hot and dry weather conditions wereexperienced over most parts of the country although there was an improvement in cloudiness (especially in the mornings) during the second half of the review period.A comparison between the previous seven days (28th January to 3rd February, 2019) with the period under review (4th to 10thFebruary, 2019) indicates thatthe country remained mostly dry. However, Karurumo Rainfall Station (Murang’a County)recorded the highest seven-day total rainfall of45.0mm. VoiMeteorological Station recorded 0.8mm while Mombasa Meteorological Station recorded 0.9mmas depicted in Figure 1……….read more

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The CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko leading the Ministry’s team during the bilateral talks with the UNEA 4 President, who was accompanied by a team from UNEP

Plans are at an advanced stage for the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) which will take place from 11-15 March 2019, in Nairobi at United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), complex.

Several Heads of State and Government, policy makers, environmental activists and other delegates are expected to attend the event, which is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on environmental matters.

This year’s event  is under the theme is ‘Innovative Solutions to Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’ will see more than 2000 delegates from across the globe converge in Nairobi.

UNEA4 President, Estonia Minister for the Environment, Mr. Siim Kiisler was in the country this week to check on the preparations and exuded confidence that all systems are in place with a few finishing touches remaining.

The UNEA4 president met with Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Mr. Keriako Tobiko who assured him that the country’s top leadership led by his Excellence President Uhuru Kenyatta is committed to ensure the event is a success.

Keriako said that the planning committee was working with other key departments to ensure the event is successful.

Kiisler said that at the historic Assembly, delegates will have a framework for shifting global economic systems towards more sustainable trajectories that tackle our environmental challenges.

The UNEA4 President said that there is need to build more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive societies with sustainable consumption and production patterns that address environmental challenges.

Siim said; “In the Assembly and the events around it, we are determined to ambitiously scale-up our efforts to tackle common environmental challenges through fostering sustainable and efficient resource management; ensuring the access and use of environmental data; engaging civil society, citizens, private sector and academia”.

He said the 2019 UN Environment Assembly will contribute towards a holistic, inclusive, and participatory approach to development that is underpinned by human rights and recognizes the interlinkages and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development.

Under the overall theme Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production, the 2019 UN Environment Assembly will address the following three focus areas:

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.

At the sidelines of the UNEA 4, there will be exhibitions and side events among them the 1 Planet event which President Uhuru Kenyatta and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to grace

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The CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko exchanging views with the UNEA-4 President and Estonian Minister for Environment, Mr. Siim Kiisler,, during the courtesy call.DSC_0692

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said that there is need to translate environmental conference resolutions into concrete actions, in order to address environmental challenges.

Mr. Tobiko said that the African group of ministers declarations during the forthcoming United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) should commit to ratify agreements, and develop meaningful messages to address similar environmental challenges experienced among countries.

The CS said that environmental challenges cut across borders and leaders should formulate common positions to address the challenges.

Speaking today in his office when he met Estonia Minister for the Environment, Mr. Siim Kiisler who is also the President of United Nations Environmental Assembly 4 (UNEA4), he said that there is need find common ground in decision making on issues affecting the environment.

The CS assured the UNEA president that the Kenya government is committed in ensuring that the UNEA 4 ,to be help in next month at the Nairobi UNEP headquarters is a success.

“Kenya is committed from the highest level, President Uhuru Kenyatta is fully in support of the UNEA -, he welcomes all the delegates and will be attending the event, and the one planet summit, this meeting is absolutely critical” he said.

Mr. Tobiko said that there is a correlation between environment, development, health and other sectors, hence when the environment gets affected; the effects spill over to the areas.

He called on the organizers of UNEA 4 to come up with innovative solutions aimed at environmental protection, adding that indigenous communities should be allowed to showcase their innovations in environmental resilience and climate change mitigation measures.

On his part, Kiisler said that the major problem cutting across many countries is pollution, with marine littering and plastics in oceans.

He commended the Kenya government for banning plastic carrier bags saying every country should come up with sound policies to address solid waste menace.

He called on Environment Ministers attending UNEA 4 to come up with practical declarations and commit to implement them to the letter.

The CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko leading the Ministry’s team during the bilateral talks with the UNEA 4 President, who was accompanied by a team from UNEP

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Monitoring ,reporting and verification equipment displayed by climate directorate staff after the handing over

On January 30, the Climate Change Directorate (CCD) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry officially received an assortment of IT and office equipment from Conservation International (CI worth almost KSh 1 million as part of a project to support the country’s climate change monitoring and reporting capacity.

Africa Field Director of CI’s Vital Signs programme Dr. Peter Alele handed over the equipment that included desktop computers, laptops and key office equipment to Acting Climate Change Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr. Pacifica Ogola at the Climate Change Resource Center in Nairobi. Present were CI, CCD and other implementing partners.

The equipment will support the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions system being developed by CI in partnership with the Ministry and other stakeholders.

The handover was conducted under the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that seeks to enhance the capacity of countries to monitor, verify and report their GHG Emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In her remarks before the handover, Dr. Ogola said that the CBIT work being implemented by CI’s Vital Signs programme including developing an effective MRV system, aligns well with the Kenya government priorities and legislative provisions.

Dr. Pacifica Ogola, the Climate Change Acting Secretary (second left) and her staff pose for a group photo with members of the Conservation International

She indicated that Kenya’s Climate Change Act (2016) and various regulations require public and private sectors to develop their GHG profiles and report them accordingly in line with the emission reduction targets set by the Climate Change Council that’s chaired by the President.

“CCD and other institutions created under the Climate Change Act are still at infancy stage; they need a lot of support to strengthen their capacity in critical areas. But the capacity building should be sustainable and not create dependency,” she said.

She added: “We thank CI and GEF for the equipment; without them, much would not be achieved. The MRV work is huge and cannot be underestimated. We need critical partnerships and enough time to do it well and finalize what we’ve started.”

On his part, Dr. Alele expressed satisfaction with the ongoing partnership with the government of Kenya on CBIT and other initiatives, saying the collaborations should be expanded for the benefit of Kenyans.

He said that the CBIT programme in Kenya has recorded significant progress in building the capacity of key personnel and working on developing a functional MRV framework and GHG inventory in line with Kenya’s priorities.

“Kenya was among the first 3 countries to access CBIT support from the GEF through CI and the country is still ahead of the other 30 countries that have accessed the same support. There is a lot they are going to learn from Kenya; we are compiling the lessons learnt to share with other countries,” he said.

He added: “Our ambition is to expand this CBIT work beyond the project phase; we are having discussions on how to have functional MRV systems not only for Kenya but regionally and how to raise funds for them,”

Dr. Alele appealed to stakeholders to take advantage of the capacity building opportunities provided by the CBIT project including online courses to strengthen Kenya’s capacity to fulfil its climate change reporting commitments locally and internationally.

CCD’s Deputy Director Stephen King’uyu said the MRV system being developed should be responsive to the country’s needs apart from helping in meeting Kenya’s reporting obligations to UNFCCC. He added that it should be aligned with existing institutional frameworks to minimize the need to create new structures.

“We are happy GEF and Conservation International have come in at the right time. If we pull together, we will achieve much,” he said.

While giving an update about the CBIT in Kenya, the project Manager Mike Olendo indicated that the MRV system and the coordinating platform will soon be available online, allowing everyone access to useful empirical data on climate actions and impacts in the country.

“We are working to pull together all empirical data that’s available on climate impacts and actions and uploading them online for use by both scientists and lay persons” he said.

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Cabinet Secretary for Environment Keriako Tobiko tours the KEFRI stand during the World Wetlands Day celebrations at Rumuruti sub county, Laikipia County.

The Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said that the National Government and Laikipia County Government will work with the local community to save the endangered Ewaso Narok wetland in Rumurutu Sub County.

He assured the local community that the government will not evict them but was out to seek sustainable management of the swamp that serves thousands of people downstream.

The wetland is threatened by human activity that includes livestock grazing, crops growing, fish rearing and deforestation that has caused drying up of the water source.

Ministry of Environment and forestry has published a notice of intention to gazette the wetland into a protected natural resource.

Mr.Tobiko made the remarks while addressing residents during the World Wetlands day celebrations held at the marura swamp near Rumuruti town.

He was accompanied by the Laikipia County governor Mr. Nderitu Muriithi, Laikipia west MP Patrick Mariru, Isiolo County C.E.C for Environment Abdi Dawood among other leaders from laikipia, isiolo and samburu Counties.

The CS decried the wanton destruction of forests and water catchment areas citing political interference that hampers conservation efforts.


Earlier the CS made a courtesy call on the governor where he emphasized the importance of National and County governments to work seamlessly to conserve and preserve the country’s natural resources for the benefit of posterity.

The CS noted that the government’s intention was to improve management of the wetland in a sustainable manner to enable all communities including those downstream to enjoy the benefits of the wetland.

Mr. Tobiko added that better management of the natural resources would create cohesion and harmony among kenyans.

Mr. Ndiritu called for efforts to conserve Marmanet and Rumuruti forests that were water catchment areas of the wetland.

CS joins local dancers during the celebrations

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Ewaso Narok Swamp, is a wetland located in Rumuruti, in the County of Laikipia between latitudes 0°16’01.2″N 36°32’19.9″E along the Eng’are Narok river which ends at Lorian Swamp in Wajir County.  The wetland is located in asemi-arid grassland area withfrequent drought and unreliable rainfall of less than 714 mm and high temperatures. This causesthe size of the swamp to fluctuatebetween 5 and 19.5 km2 between dry and wet seasonseach year.The water in the swamp emanates from Nyandarua ranges, Lake Ol’Bolossat catchment areas as well as tributaries feeding into Eng’are Narok river. These include Nanyuki, Burguret, Likii, Ontulili, Sirimon Timau rivers, Eng’are Ngobit, Moyok, Pesi and Mutara rivers. Ewaso Narok river is a tributary of Ewaso Nyiro North river which is the main source of water for five counties with an estimated total population of 2,024,677. These are Nyandarua, Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu and Wajir counties.

Ewaso Narok Swamp is a biodiversity hotspot andacts as a sponge, absorbing excess  storm  from heavy  rainfall,  thereby  ensuring  flow  regulation/  flood  control  and soil erosion  prevention. The wetland  vegetation  absorbs nutrients  and  toxic  substances  from  inflowing  water  thereby  improving  the  quality  of water downstream.

Ewaso Narok Swamp is currently facing environmental threats which if not abated may lead to its extinction thereby affecting the livelihoods of people who depend on Eng’are Narok river. Some of the threats affecting the wetland include human encroachment, excessive de-vegetation of the wetland for cultivation, construction materials, and heavy water abstraction for irrigation. This has led to the reduced water volume in the river resulting into public and human-wildlife resource- use conflicts in the area.

In this regard, pursuant to section 42 of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry on recommendation from NEMA intends to declare the wetland a protected area and impose such restrictions to protect the wetland. Consequently, members of the public are hereby invited to make representation and/or submit memoranda or petitions in regard to the proposed declaration within Thirty (30) days of the publication of this notice.

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Most parts of the country experienced sunny and dry weather conditions for most of January 2019. Several areas in western and central highlands including Nairobi, however, received some significant amounts of rainfall especially at the beginning of the month.

February is normally a dry month over most parts of the country (see figure 2). The forecast for February 2019 indicates that most parts of the country will be generally sunny and dry throughout the month. A few areas in the Lake Victoria Basin, highlands west of the Rift Valley and Central Rift Valley are likely to experience occasional rainfall that may spread to the central highlands including Nairobi……read more

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Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in Kenya. The integrity of the country’s water resources and agricultural productivity is sustained by our wetlands. They are nutrient rich and productive most of the year. During the dry seasons, wetlands are the only places where the local communities are able to access quality pasture and their edges support production of vegetables and other quick maturing crops for household consumption. They also control floods
and clear water of pollutants through filtration. Wetlands are therefore a key resource for the achievement of Vision 2030. Despite the important role that wetlands play in sustaining livelihoods in Kenya, they have been subjected to severe pressure and rapid degradation. The results have been detrimental and even…..Read more

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Ewaso Ngiro River at Rumuruti, Laikipia County. It forms part of Ewaso Narok swamp that is threatened by human activities

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is considering Gazetting Ewaso Narok swamp in Rumuruti, Laikipia County as a protected area following threats of massive degradation CS Keriako Tobiko has said.

The swamp which is the largest wetland in Laikipia County is located in Rumuruti Division and covers about 12 square kilometers with a linear stretch of about 12 kilometres.

Human encroachment through farming has threatened the drying up of river Ewaso Narok that is the lifeline of thousands of residents in Laikipia, Isiolo and Wajir Counties downstream.

River Ewaso Narok has its source at the Aberdares ranges and flows down to Lake Olbollosat in Nyandarua County before finding its way down to Laikipia County. The lake that is home to many endangered bird species was gazetted in 2018 as a protected area following threats of extinction through human activity.

The CS who will be the guest of honour during the forthcoming World Wetlands day to be observed on 2nd February.

The Country’s national event will be held at Rumuruti near Ewaso Narok swamp also known locally as Marura .

Human encroachment through settlement had converted Marura wetland into a beehive of activities where farmers around the swamp engage in farming slash and burn methods.

Other inappropriate farming methods include flood irrigation and the use of heavy pumps which have accelerated the wetlands degradation over the years.

A team of officials who visited Marura found that the wetland had grossly been mismanaged and was made worse by widespread deforestation.

Records indicate that Settlement around Ewaso Narok has been rising gradually from an initial settlement in 1950s of 3%, with increased high in migration from 1990 to 2000s. The households are very near the wetlands boundary with 80% of the households being inside the swamp causing massive environmental degradation.

There are various types of land tenure systems with 65% of the land being recognized as trust land. The holdings vary from household to household; the smallest being 0.25 acres while the largest is 7 acres.

The three main crops grown in Ewaso Narok are maize, beans and tomatoes. The crops are grown under varying proportions but most of the famers grow maize and beans on 0.25 acre each and tomatoes on 0.5 acres. Water from the swamp is mainly used for farming activities through irrigation by flooding and furrow.

This years world wetlands day will focus on sensitizing the public on the need of conservation with a theme of “wetlands and climate change”.

A number of buildup activities starting three days before the event  are lined up for the day’s celebration that will include tree planting, cleaning exercise, Camel caravan and community forum.

Other guests for the event will include cabinet secretaries, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, international conservationists and prominent personalities

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REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

Request for Public Comments, Views and Feedback on the Draft Meteorology Policy and Draft Meteorology Bill…Read More

THE KENYA METEOROLOGY BILL, 2019

THE KENYA METEOROLOGY BILL, 2019…Read More

METEOROLOGY POLICY

METEOROLOGY POLICY….Read More

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