Monday, November 19, 2018
CS,Prof. Judi Wakhungu viewing a simple  water harvesting technique during the Biodiversity day fetes in Laikipia   County

CS,Prof. Judi Wakhungu viewing a simple water harvesting technique during the Biodiversity day fetes in Laikipia County

The government is formulating programs that will reduce wildlife-human conflict in the country in a bid to conserve biodiversity, Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

Prof. Wakhungu of Environment, Water and natural Resources said that widespread conflict in Laikipia County was as a result of human activity that had pushed wildlife out of its natural habitat.

The CS praised residents of Laikipia for initiating private conservancies that had become sanctuaries of threatened wildlife species and attracted international attention as tourists flocked the county to view the game.

Prof. Wakhungu pointed out that Laikipia was a leader in conservation of the country’s water towers and wildlife thereby effectively managing the biodiversity that was threatened by continued change of habitat.

Speaking in Nanyuki town when she led the country in marking this year’s International Biodiversity day, the CS noted that loss of wildlife to poachers was caused by global insecurity, adding that nations of the world were coming together to stem the vice.

She disclosed that her Ministry had formulated various policies, strategies and legislation to help conserve biodiversity for sustainable development. Among them are sessional papers on Environment, wetlands conservation, integrated coastal zone management that had been approved by cabinet for publication and debate by parliament.

The policies will help the country adequately address the prevailing and emerging threats to biodiversity the CS added.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu, flanked by Director MEAs, Richard Mwendandu and other dignitaries being shown a simple cooking jiko

Prof. Judi Wakhungu, flanked by Director MEAs, Richard Mwendandu and other dignitaries being shown a simple cooking jiko

Further prof. Wakhungu disclosed that her Ministry had finalized the compilation of the country’s natural Capital and produced an Atlas of Kenya biological Diversity, to be launched soon.

The CS appealed to Kenyans to embrace biodiversity conservation for the country’s socio-economic development.

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Prof. Judi Wakhungu flagging off the International Biodiversity day procession in Nyanyuki Town

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Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing the inaugurated Governing Council and the KEWI staff members

Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing the inaugurated Governing Council and the KEWI staff members

Kenya Water Institute (KEWI) has a new Governing Council. The 10 member council was inaugurated today the, 6th of May 2015 by the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu.

Prof. Wakhungu appointed Amb. Dr. Mary Mbiro Khimulu, M.B.S. as  Chair, Dr. Christopher Munyao Nyamai, MS. Lilian Janice Plapan, Prof. Wilson Mwaniki Ngecu, MS. Catherine Akinyi Mwango, Mr. David Amenem’alaine, ENG. Lawrence Simitu, the Principal Secretary-National Treasury, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, and the Director, Kenya Water Institute- who will serve for a period of three years.

 Prof. Wakhungu said , KEWI has not had a governing council for almost one and a half years and during this period her Ministry, through the Principal Secretary, had consistently supported KEWI management to ensure that the institution is managed soundly, and that its programmes do not stagnate.

The CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu , the inaugurated Governing Council members and KEWI staff

The CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu , the inaugurated Governing Council members and KEWI staff

As you are aware, Prof. Wakhungu said the sector is faced with number of challenges. These challenges include extreme climate conditions that lead to water scarcity, surface water and ground water resources, especially ground water resources. Other challenges are; limited appropriate water technologies, inadequate data and information for informed policy decisions and improved service delivery, inadequate skilled technicians who can cope with dynamic environment, as well as inadequate operation and maintenance of existing water infrastructure which may contribute to high levels of non- revenue water. Consequently, my ministry has identified access to clean, safe water and sanitation services, research development and technology as key strategic focus area, she added.

Prof. Wakhungu said her Ministry has developed the water bill 2015, which is currently undergoing discussion in parliament, in which she has made  the necessary input on the role of KEWI in the sector. In the same spirit, KEWI should review her policies.

 The KEWIS governing Council key responsibilities will be to:

  1. Formulating, with the approval from the ministry, policies pertaining to KEWI management, and implementation of the objectives of the KEWI mandate;
  2. Administering the property and funds of the institute in such manner and for such purposes as shall best promote the interests of the institute;
  3. Receiving on behalf of the institute, donations, endorsements, gifts, grants or other monies, and to make legitimate disbursements there from;
  4. Borrowing, generating and raising funds for the purposes of the institute;
  5. Appointing suitable staff for the institute upon such terms and conditions as you may determine;
  6. Receiving reports from the director or any officer of the institute in respect of financial and other circumstances of the institute and directing any action to be taken by the director or any officer of the institute; and
  7. Doing or performing anything or any other act beneficial to the institute as provided for in the KEWI act.

“I recently presided over the ground breaking ceremony for the Kewi water resource centre and i am aware that this is one of the initiatives that will broaden KEWI’S   revenue base not only in Kenya but the entire Eastern African Region as well, the CS said.

The CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu and the inaugurated Governing Council, in a group photo

The CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu and the inaugurated Governing Council, in a group photo

Wakhungu urged the governing council to uphold the national values as stipulated in the article 10 of the constitution- alongside the principles in chapter six of the constitution on leadership, ethics and integrity.

KEWI started in the 1960s as a small unit for training water supply operators. She has grown since then to be the Kenya Water Institute you see today. The instrument that created the institute is entrenched in the laws of Kenya as KEWI act 2001, which spells out her mandate. Other than having a distinct act of parliament, it is also unique in the sense that it is the only middle level institution in                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Kenya, and the East African Region, fully dedicated to training water technicians. Technicians are responsible for the day to day management of our water utilities and schemes. In addition, the institution also undertakes applied water research, consultancy and outreach services, aimed at improving water resources management and development, and providing water and sanitation services for the socio-economic development of the country.

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CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (centre) in a group photo with the newly appointed Kenya Forest Service’s Board outside the KFS headquarters

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (centre) in a group photo with the newly appointed Kenya Forest Service’s Board outside the KFS headquarters

The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu inaugurated the newly appointed Kenya Forest Service Board at the KFS headquarters in Karura on Monday March the 18th 2015.

Speaking during the Inauguration, Prof. Wakhungu said the Board is expected to provide leadership to KFS on areas of policy development, and to formulate the institutions long term strategy and the strategic objectives of achieving the strategy. The Board is also expected to ensure that KFS has sufficient resources to achieve its objectives, and to ensure prudent financial management. To achieve these objectives, the Board will be expected to maintain a close but independent working relationship with the Director, KFS.

The main responsibility of the Board includes:

  1. To ensure efficient management of the Service; consider and recommend establishment of state forests as well as determination and alteration of boundaries of state forests.
  2. To approve policies of the service affecting forestry practice and development, formulate policies for the administration of Kenya Forestry College, consider all management agreements, including the granting of management licenses for state plantation forests
  3. To establish and review policies and rules for marketing of and trade in forest produce.
  4. To advising the Cabinet Secretary on all matters pertaining to the establishment, development, conservation and utilization of forests in Kenya; among several other functions.
CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu shows the code of Governance book, meant to be followed by the appointed board

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu shows the code of Governance book, meant to be followed by the appointed board

The Cabinet Secretary said, the Government has developed new guidelines for the management of State Corporation. The guidelines are well stipulated in a publication “mwongozo” The code of Governance for state corporations ‘Mwongozo’, the code of governance for State Corporations, endorsed and supported by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta. These regulations underpin the expectations placed upon the KFS Board, to steer the Service to efficient, transparent and accountable service delivery.

The CS noted that Kenya Forest Service has already embarked on implementing the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution on Devolved functions. To this end, KFS has rolled out Transition Implementation Plans (TIPs) which guide County Governments in implementation of devolved forestry functions such as forest extension services in farms, county lands and other public areas.

Kenya Forest Service was formed through the Forest Act 2005 and operationalized in 2007. During the past eight (8) years since its inception, Kenya Forest Service has made tremendous progress in forest sector reforms through implementation of the Forest Act, and the able leadership and  the guidance of the last two KFS Boards. Notably, KFS formed ten (10) Forest Conservancy Committees that assist the Board in the efficient management of forests. KFS has also partnered with Community Forest Associations at the local levels who have played a key role in conservation of forests. In addition, KFS has endorsed close to one hundred (100) Participatory Forest Management Plans which guide management of forest resources in collaboration with forest adjacent communities.

“Through implementation of the Forest Act, I’m glad to report that cases of forest loss due to irregular excisions and destruction have now been curbed. Indeed, my Ministry has spearheaded the recovery of over 19,000 hectares of Mau Forest Complex, and over 16,000 hectares of Embobut Forest, said Wakhungu.

In addition, my Ministry has overseen the gazettement of over two hundred thousand hectares of new forests which are now secured for rehabilitation.  KFS has also made great strides in technological advancements, such as the Forest Information Systems laboratory, which provides satellite imaging from which data and maps are derived to show the extent of forest resources and status of forests in the country. Due to the available technology, it can now be confirmed that Kenya’s forest cover stands at 7 percent of the total land area. Efforts to increase Kenya’s forest cover to a target of ten (10) percent as stipulated in the Constitution and national development blueprint Vision 2030, will be one of the key mandate of the Kenya Forest Service Board.

Prof. Wakhungu said, her Ministry and the service have also done the review of the Forest Act to align it to the Constitution, and the draft Forest Conservation and Management Bill 2015 has already been submitted to the Constitution Implementation Commission.

 The KFS Board is established under section 6 of the Forests Act, 2005 comprising of 16 members from the line Ministries and eight persons from the private sector. The Board derives its mandate from the Forest Act and the state Corporations Act.

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CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu unveiling the plaque during the launch of the Keroka Water supply and Sanitation project

Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation has a profound effect on health, especially waterborne or diarrhoea diseases, which have a significant impact on children, Environment Water and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

The CS was speaking in Nyangori town on Monday during the Ground breaking of the Keroka Water Supply Project. The program is being implemented in 3 towns of Kericho, Keroka and Isebania at a combined budget of approximately Ksh. 1.32 billion granted by ADB and additional Ksh. 180 million provided by the Government of Kenya as counterpart contribution. The project components include water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, storm water drainage, and capacity building and training.

 CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu unveiling the plaque during the launch of the Keroka Water supply and Sanitation project

 Prof. Wakhungu said, the Keroka Town water supply and sanitation project we are initiating today is part of the larger “Keroka-Isebania Water Supply and Sanitation Project”. The Keroka Town component is estimated to cost Ksh. 366 million and involves construction of a new water supply system to meet the 20 year demand of water. The system once completed will increase the water production from the current 300m3/day to 3,300m3/day and will serve an ultimate population of 59,400 up from the current 32,500 people. The system will eventually complement the existing system that was recently rehabilitated at a cost of 31 million under the short term intervention under the same programme.

Wakhungu commended the support from African Development Bank (ADB) which has extended to Kenya especially in the water sector over the recent past.  ADB’s assistance has led to development and improvement of water supply infrastructure and water resources management.  Among other projects, ADB has funded Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Project -Phase Two (LVWATSAN II). This is a grant project to East African Community for its 5 member States with the main objective of improving the health and quality of life of the Lake Victoria Basin population. This is being done through protecting the environment and contributing to the reversal of the lake water pollution through improvement in sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure to 15 secondary towns in the Basin.

She said a constitutional and fundamental duty has been placed on the State and every State organ to promote and progressively fulfill the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. It is also expected that the provision of the services is monitored, evaluated and reported to the public periodically. Timely and adequate provision of clean water and sanitation services to our people is particularly important given the vulnerability of their situation. They touch every aspect of human activity, from environmental protection to safe drinking water and from empowerment of women and education of girls to the reduction of productivity losses.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu watering a commemorative tree at the site during the launch of the Keroka Water Supply and Sanitation Project

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu with the Governor John Nyagarama of Nyamira County at the scene of the launched Keroka Water and Sanitation project

 Prof. Wakhungu said the benefits expected from the anticipated improved water supply are fundamental to the well-being of Keroka residents. Access to safe, clean water opens up a world of possibilities for community development. The wastewater treatment interventions will generate significant benefits for public health, the environment and for certain economic sectors such as fisheries, tourism and property markets

The planned intervention will thus protect the water resources from pollution and facilitate the management of water supply and demand in a sustainable manner. This will ultimately deliver clear and sizeable benefits for both investors in the services and end water users.

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Untitled-1The Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu presided over the 4th graduation ceremony at the Kenya Wildlife Service Institute in Naivasha on the 30th April, 2015.

A total of 100 granduands were conferred with diplomas and certificates in various disciplines, including Environmental Management, Tourism Management, Wildlife Management, Tour Guiding and Wildlife Sanctuary Management.

   CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing graduands at the 13th KWSTI graduation ceremony in Naivasha

 Prof.  Wakhungu congratulated the graduands, singling out the institute as a centre of excellence in natural resource management and tourism development. The institute, which was started in 1985, is renowned for training and conducting research in Natural Resource Management in an effort to enhance conservation, management and sustainability of Kenya’s wildlife resources and their habitats.

She challenged the graduands to use their acquired knowledge and technical skills to help protect biodiversity which is little compared to the cumulative threats to our environment today.  “This calls for all of us to work much harder to inject positive change before it is too late.  Wildlife belongs to all Kenyans. We must show the communities the benefits they are getting and how they can gain direct benefits from wildlife conservation”.

                 More than 100 granduands were conferred with diplomas and certificates in various disciplines.

Professor Wakhungu congratulated the Kenya wildlife services for running a corrupt-free Ranger recruitment exercise for recruits to join the KWS Law Enforcement Academy. She said the rangers will help to increase security and response around the conservation areas.

The CS emphasised the need to educate the people on the importance of wildlife conservation and to make sure that they are well engaged in protection of habitats, in order to the natural heritage, adding that weapons and sophisticated equipment  alone could not stop poaching and called for collaboration with all stakeholders.

She reiterated that the need to nurture Mother Nature through Training, Capacity building and Conservation Education adding that wildlife conferred immense ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational, and aesthetic benefits to sustainable development and human well-being. She urged KWS to   raise awareness of the urgent need for conservation and its attendant benefits.

Wildlife, the CS noted has great socioeconomic value for the people of Kenya and comprised a critical pillar of the country’s tourism which is industry largely wildlife based and is one of the key sectors expected to deliver the vision 2030.

The CS paid special tribute to the Governments of South Sudan, Zambia, and Uganda for trusting Kenya to train their citizens on wildlife and tourism.

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Hiroshi Kumagae from Japan with  Director, MEAs, Mr. Richard Mwendandu with the signed agreements after  exchanging them, as officials from the Ministry and Japan look on

Hiroshi Kumagae from Japan with Director, MEAs, Mr. Richard Mwendandu with the signed agreements after exchanging them, as officials from the Ministry and Japan look on

The country will soon have a state of the art incinerator to treat medical waste, thanks to a grant aid from the Government of Japan to the Government of Kenya.

The sh. 2 billion grant Aid for medical waste treatment follows an exchange of an agreement between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and a procurement agent Crown agencies limited on behalf of the Government of Japan.

The Government of Kenya team was led by the Director of Multilateral Environmental Agreements Mr. Richard Mwendandu while the Crown agencies team was led by Mr. Hiroshi Kumagae, during the exchange of the agreement.

The medical and hazardous  waste treatment facility was necessitated by the tons of waste churned out by hospitals across the country annually, and has no proper disposal.

The incinerator expected to be constructed on a Design, Build and Operate basis will be put up on land set aside by the Government at Ruai area of Nairobi.

Mr. Mwendadu who represented the Environment Principal secretary Dr. Richard Lesiyampe said that the Government of Kenya had already budgeted for the facility and was keen to commence the project that will ensure environmental safety in disposal of the medical waste.

Director, MEASs, Mr. Richard Mwendandu conducting  the Japanese team on the site where the facility will be built in Ruai,  Nairobi County.

Director, MEASs, Mr. Richard Mwendandu conducting the Japanese team on the site where the facility will be built in Ruai, Nairobi County.

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