Monday, November 19, 2018
PS, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, flanked by Conservation secretary, Mr. Gathaara and SDA, Amb. Kandie addressing the media at KWS offices.

PS, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, flanked by Conservation secretary, Mr. Gathaara and SDA, Amb. Kandie addressing the media at KWS offices.

The Government is fully aware of the magnitude of the problems facing the wildlife sector, in particular poaching which has been an issue of great concern. As you are all aware, the poaching and trafficking in wildlife are trans-national problems that have increased in sophistication and scope.

The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources gazetted a task force on wildlife security headed by Ambassador Nehemiah Rotich, a former Director of Kenya Wildlife Service, and we expect its full report by the end of next month. We call upon all stakeholders to come forward and share their views with the Taskforce. The Cabinet Secretary also presented the situation of the wildlife sector to the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources last week.

In addition, the Government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to scrutinize and oversee operations in KWS for the next three months with a view to identifying challenges in the Service and undertaking remedial measures. The committee comprises of senior officials of the following Ministries:

  • The National Treasury
  • Environment, Water and Natural Resources
  • Planning and Devolution
  • Interior and National Co-ordination
  • Kenya Wildlife Service

The committee started working yesterday (April 10, 2014) and shall be meeting every week to ensure measures identified are effected timely.

Further to these, consultations between the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), both field and headquarters officers, have been held. We came up with a raft of measures to be undertaken to revamp KWS within the next 100 days starting on Saturday (April 3, 2014).

Six senior officers have been asked to proceed on leave starting yesterday to pave way for investigations into operations of KWS. The affected officers include:

  1. Mr Julius Kimani- Deputy Director Security
  2. Mr Patrick Omondi, Deputy Director Wildlife Conservation
  3. Mr William Waweru-Deputy Director Finance and Administration
  4. Mr Tom Sipul- Deputy Director Corporate Services
  5. Mr Wesley Isanda- Head Finance
  6. Mr Christopher Oludhe- Acting Head Supply Chain management

For continuity in services, the following have been appointed in acting capacity:

  • Mr Robert Muasya Ag. Deputy Director Security
  • Mr Nelson Agina Ag. Deputy Director Finance and Administration
  • Mr Robert Njue Ag, Deputy Director Wildlife Conservation
  • Engineer Benson Wamaya Ag. Deputy Director Corporate Services
  • Mr James Sambu Ag. Head of Finance
  • Mr Gitonga Runo Head of Supply Chain Management

In order to address the issue of poaching, we have identified key areas that need urgent attention. These include:

  • Formation of an anti-poaching committee to look at all aspects of poaching and recommend actions must be followed up and executed.
  • Review budgets to channel more resources to the core business of KWS, especially in the field
  • Restructure and revamp the Intelligence Unit which plays a critical role in the war against poaching
  • Renovation and upgrading of Lake Nakuru, Nairobi and Ngulia Rhino sanctuary fences
  • The Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and KWS will enhance engagements with various stakeholders, especially County governments, community and other security agencies with a view to boosting the war against poaching
  • In order to increase the mobility of rangers, 50 4×4 wheel drive vehicles will be procured for deployment to the field
  • In order to fast-track procurement of critical security equipment there is need to review membership of the tender and procurement committees urgently
  • Follow through force modernization by procuring and deploying modern equipment, including night vision and firearms
  • Rationalize and harmonize allowances for rangers with a view to improving their welfare

To address the current shortage of staff, we plan to commence recruitment of 600 rangers from Monday next week.

Senior Ministry  and KWS officials listen as  PS, Dr. Richard  Lesiyampe addresses the media  on steps to revamp KWS.DSC_0024

Senior Ministry and KWS officials listen as PS, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe addresses the media on steps to revamp KWS.DSC_0024

As you are aware, we are in the process of merging KWS with KFS, Water Towers Authority and Nyayo Tea Zone. The process is on course and we hope to complete it as soon as possible.

More consultations will continue to be done with a view to ensuring that our wildlife heritage is conserved at all costs.

I wish to assure Kenyans of our commitment to secure wildlife and the safety of our visitors. At the same time, I wish to sound a warning to poachers out there that their days are numbered. Finally, I appeal to all Kenyans to support us in our efforts to conserve our national heritage.

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Senior Director of Admin. Amb. Kandie flanked by Conservation Secretary, Mr. Gathaara addressing Kaya elders at Kaya Nimwache forest, KwaleDSC_0203

For many years, Kaya forests have been revered as sacred sites, where special prayers have been held by the Mijikenda. They therefore, owe their existence to beliefs, culture, and history of the nine coastal Mijikenda ethnic groups: the Giriama, Digo, Duruma, Rabai, Kauma, Ribe, Jibana, Kambe, and Chonyi. To date, there are over 50 Kayas that have been identified in Kwale County, Mombasa County and Kilifi County.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the on-going rehabilitation and conservation of Kaya forests in Kwale County, the Senior Director of Administration in the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ambassador Julius Kandie, who led a team from the Ministry on behalf of the Principal Secretary noted that, Kaya forests have been managed through very efficient traditional systems that have been achieved largely through the strength of spiritual beliefs and social rules and norms.

Noting that conservation endeavors are faced with numerous challenges, Ambassador Kandie identified rising demand for forest products and land for agriculture, mining, and other activities as a result of increased population, as some of the causes of gradual destruction and loss of the Kaya forests.

While paying a courtesy call to Kwale Governor, HE. Hon. Salim Mvury, Ambassador Kandie noted that Government was focusing on planting over 100 million trees by the end of 2014 and setting up Green Schools as epi-centres of learning on the issues of conservation, and noted that, the Ministry was spearheading a programme on commercializing trees and Bamboo and called for the participation of the youths and women in the exercise.

Kwale County Commissioner, Mr Evans Achoki, Conservation Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Gideon Gathaara and Environment Secretary, Dr. Alice Kaudia where in the tour.

Kwale County Commissioner, Mr. Evans Achoki taking the SDA and his team on a conducted tour of the Kaya forests in Kwale
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PS, State Dept. of Env. & Nat. Res. Dr. Richard Lesiyampe,  flanked by SDA, Amb. Kandie, SDS, Mr. Oyosi and Director, Programmes, addressing the senior managers

PS, State Dept. of Env. & Nat. Res. Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, flanked by SDA, Amb. Kandie, SDS, Mr. Oyosi and Director, Programmes, addressing the senior managers

The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, has reiterated   the top Ministry’s management support to ensure the Ministry becomes   9001:2008 ISO certified.

Addressing senior management staff during a meeting with the Ministry’s ISO drivers team at the NSSF conference room, Dr. Lesiyampe noted that, the Ministry must demonstrate its commitment to quality management and improvement of service delivery to its customers and noted that, ISO, which is the internationally recognized standard for quality management, demonstrates the existence of an effective quality management system and enhances image in the eyes of customers, thus giving a competitive edge to an organization’s marketing,.

The Ministry’s Quality Management Representative (QMR), Mr. Sospeter Muiruri, took the top managers through the quality manual and assured them that, the Ministry’s ISO team will burn   its midnight oil to meet its goal.

Senior Director of Administration, Amb. Julius Kandie and Senior Deputy Secretary, Mr. Oyosi, among other senior Ministry officials attended the meeting.

The MEWNR Quality Management Rep. (QMR) Mr. Sospeter  Muiruri taking the top managers through the quality mannual.

The MEWNR Quality Management Rep. (QMR) Mr. Sospeter Muiruri taking the top managers through the quality mannual.

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Nominated MP, Hon. Sonia Birdi speaking during the Hindu Religious and service centre ten yrs of tree planting event.

Nominated MP, Hon. Sonia Birdi speaking during the Hindu Religious and service centre ten yrs of tree planting event.

Kenyans should actively take responsibility of their environment to avoid negative effects of climate change, a nominated member of parliament has said.

Hon. Sonia Birdi observed that positive environment responsibility included mass planting of trees in a bid to moderate the local climate.

She praised the Hindu community for participating in an environmental program that involved planting 10,000 trees annually, in various parts of the country.

The MP was speaking during the celebration of 10 years celebration of Hindu Tree Planting Project held at Shree Ram mandher temple in Nairobi where she advised Kenyans to take advantage of their cultural diversity to create a strong nation.

Hon. Birdi reiterated the government’s commitment in achieving 10 % tree cover as projected by the country’s vision 2030. She commended development partners and donors for supplementing efforts of ensuring the country attained a sustainable environmentMembers of the Hindu faith following presentations during the commemoration of ten yrs of tree planting.

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A group photograph of the taskforce members

A group photograph of the taskforce members

Kenya will have a National Climate Change law and policy in six months, Principal Secretary for Environment and natural Resources Dr. Richard Lesiyampe has said.

Already a draft Bill for the new law is on the order paper of Parliament awaiting deliberations as soon as amendments and draft Policy are finalized.

The PS was speaking at his office when he launched the recently gazetted 15 member task force on the development of a national Climate Change Policy and law.

The task force is mandated among other things to spearhead dialogue and advocacy at National and County levels to ensure stakeholders were aware and understood the implications of the policy and Bill.

Once it is passed into law, the legislation will enhance coordination and implementation of climate change resilience. It will also advocate for low carbon development for sustainable development of the country.

Dr. Lesiampe who chairs the taskforce, said that their immediate task was to involve grassroots representatives in an effort to mainstream the exercise at the county level.

The Member of Parliament for Emuhaya Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo who is also a member of the task force confirmed that the parliamentary committee on Environment Water and Natural Resources fully supported the draft bill and would expedite it once the policy and amendments were tabled before parliament.

The Taskforce members are drawn from various interest groups such as Kenya Climate Change Working Group, Transparency International (K), Kenya Association of manufacturers, and University of Nairobi among other stakeholderPrincipal Secretary, SDENR, Dr. Lesiyampe launching the Taskforce

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Kenyans will soon reap plenty of benefits when the new Forestry bill is passed into law Cabinet Secretary for Environment Water and Natural Resources Prof Judi Wakhungu has said.

Many decisions regarding forests will be bestowed upon the local people who will make crucial choices about forestry resources. Matters of forests governance, National Standards of Forests management and utilization of products have all been addressed in the proposed law.

Prof. Wakhungu noted that that her Ministry was already working closely with the county Governments in efforts to embrace the new constitution that dictates devolving of forestry activities that were previously implemented by the Kenya Forestry Service.

The new Forestry Bill proposes incentives for forests development by the county Governments in an effort to enhance livelihoods and reduce poverty for the local people.

Cabinet Secretary Prof.Judi Wakhungu watering a commemoraative tree at this years international day of forest at keraita forest in kaimbuu County

Cabinet Secretary Prof.Judi Wakhungu watering a commemoraative tree at this years international day of forest at keraita forest in kaimbuu County

The cabinet Secretary was speaking when she presided over the 2nd International Forests day observed at Kireita Forest in Kiambu County. She said that already her ministry had picked some valuable experience in community management of forests and promised to build on their experiences to encourage counties to invest in the forestry sector by supporting social development and creating employment for the youth.

She called for a shared national focus and dialogue that will promote policy and institutional change that will enhance transparency in Forests management, adding that the Kenya constitution 2010 advocated for redress of community rights and customary tenure.

Devolving of forestry functions the CS observed authorised that the national government supports County authorities to identify forest potential and facilitate capacity building to enable them develop and manage the local resources.

Already she noted that a team of experts was already in place to provide a clear strategy for implementing the forest policy for the next 15 years.

She disclosed that her Ministry had set aside sh. 10 million to rehabilitate Mau and Embobut forests through tree planting this rainy season adding that the Kenya Forest Service was working with the respective Community Forest Associations to ensure both forests are managed and conserved professionally.

Further she observed that a new Mau Ecosystem project had initiated Farmer Field School approaches to improve livelihoods and develop income generating activities to reduce farmer’s dependency on forest resources.

She appealed to county leaders, business people and all sectors to work together to help reduce deforestation and degradation in an effort to link forests to social and economic growth for the local people.

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MEWNR Process drivers drawn from all the Divisions of the Ministry pose for a group photo at GTI, Embu.

MEWNR Process drivers drawn from all the Divisions of the Ministry pose for a group photo at GTI, Embu.

In its endeavor to demonstrate its commitment to quality management and improvement of service delivery to its customers, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (MEWNR), as part of its Quality Management System towards the implementation of ISO 9001:2008, organized a one-week retreat for the Ministry’s process drivers at the Government Training School, Embu, on procedures development.

Addressing the process drivers who were drawn from all the Divisions of the Ministry, the Senior Deputy Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Oyosi noted that, ISO, which is the internationally recognized standard for quality management, demonstrates the existence of an effective quality management system and enhances image in the eyes of customers, hence giving a competitive edge to an organization’s marketing, and called on the participants to be agents of change in their respective units after the training.

The Ministry’s Quality Management Representative (QMR), Mr. Sospeter Muiruri, who moderated the training, noted that the Cabinet Secretary was very keen to have the Ministry become ISO certified and called on the participants to ensure the goal is achieved.

Senior Deputy Secretary, Mr. Oyosi addressing the process drivers during the training session.

Senior Deputy Secretary, Mr. Oyosi addressing the process drivers during the training session.

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imageThe Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu has reiterated the Government’s commitment to protect our wildlife, by recruiting more personnel to boost security and surveillance in the country’s conservation areas.

The Kenya Wildlife Service will recruit more rangers to beef up the multi-disciplinary crack unit that is already on the ground in order to eradicate poaching, which is a menace that has contributed negatively to the country’s image and economy.

The CS made the remarks in a speech read on her behalf by the Principal Secretary, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe during this year’s celebrations of the World Wildlife Day marked at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Langata, Nairobi.

She observed that the Ministry was concerned that hundreds of elephants and scores of rhinos continued to be butchered by poacher’s year in, year out. “It is a pity that this thorny issue continues to bog down, not only us as a Nation, but the entire world ‘’ she added.

The CS urged county governments to take advantage of the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013, which provided for Conservation and Compensation committees, community wildlife associations at the grassroots level. She called for clear interpretation of the Act to create a symbiotic relationship with all stakeholders in the sector.

PS Lesiyampe reads the keynote speech on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary

PS Lesiyampe reads the keynote speech on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary

Prof. Wakhungu noted that all the stakeholders would reap benefits accruing from wildlife, which would be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the new Act.

She noted that Kenya was endowed with over 25,000 species of wildlife and 7000 species of plants, making it rank highly as one of the biodiversity-rich countries in Africa.

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