Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Principal Secretary State Department of Environment Mr. Charles T. Sunkuli, CBS chairing the National Policy Steering Committee [NPSC] Meeting for LVEMP II – Kenya at Tom Mboya Labour College – Kisumu today.

The Principal Secretary State Department of Environment in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Charles T. Sunkuli, CBS today while chairing the National Project Policy Steering committee meeting of the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project Phase II [LVEMP II – Kenya] underscored the need to put in place mechanism to ensure proper funds flow to the Project’s catchment Counties.

He at the same time called on members to consider expanding project interventions to cover the entire Lake Victoria Basin Counties in terms of Sewerage facilities noting that this would address pollution in the Basin. He added that key issues to the Basin included Wetland protection of which he called for more management plans for the remaining ones; Soil erosion control structures and exploring expansion of Bio Toilets to cover more areas.

The PS applauded the efforts of the National Project Policy Steering Committee members, National Project Coordination Team [NPCT] leadership and all stakeholders that have steered the project to such a successful end.

Thereafter the PS officially flagged off the distribution of five exhausters worth Ksh. 57million to the respective counties of Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Kericho and Nandi.  He said that this demonstrates government commitment in ensuring clean, healthy and secure environment for all its citizens.

He went on to say that the Exhausters are to provide exhaustion services in places where Sewer networks do not cover, to Control and prevent point and non-point sources of pollution. Previously, the PS noted that LVEMP II – Kenya had also provided eco-sanitary services through purchase of seven exhausters for counties on loan. The recipient counties were Bomet, Kericho, Migori, Bondo, Siaya and Kisumu. The exhausters will therefore, provide on-site sanitation services and contribute immensely to the reduction of the pollution load getting into Lake Victoria.

Mr. Sunkuli urged all to join hands and work together to conserve Lake Victoria Basin and improve livelihoods. He urged those Counties that today received the exhausters to put them into good use and frequently liaise and cooperate with the project to adequately release information on the same as will be required from time to time.

He went on to say that the Exhausters are to provide exhaustion services in places where Sewer networks do not cover, to Control and prevent point and non-point sources of pollution. Previously, the PS noted that LVEMP II – Kenya had also provided eco-sanitary services through purchase of seven exhausters for counties on loan. The recipient counties were Bomet, Kericho, Migori, Bondo, Siaya and Kisumu. The exhausters will therefore, provide on-site sanitation services and contribute immensely to the reduction of the pollution load getting into Lake Victoria.

Mr. Sunkuli urged all to join hands and work together to conserve Lake Victoria Basin and improve livelihoods. He urged those Counties that today received the exhausters to put them into good use and frequently liaise and cooperate with the project to adequately release information on the same as will be required from time to time.

The PS flagging off the exhausters in company of NPSC, NPCT and County officials who were the recipients.

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Group photo for Workshop participants of the inception Workshop of technical assistance to the water towers protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation (water) Programme.
The Workshop which kicked off on 26th November, until 1st December 2017, was officially opened by Director Hewson Kabugi, on behalf of PS Margaret Mwakima.

State Department for Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima has urged Stakeholders in the Environment sector to device more proactive ways of conserving the Countries five water towers and other natural resources.

In a Statement read on her behalf by the Director of Forest Conservation Mr. Hewson Kabugi,the PS said the water towers ecosystem services are the foundation for the success of other productive sectors such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, livestock, wildlife, industry, water and energy.

She said water catchment areas also act as water aquifers and purifiers because they store water during the rainy seasons and release it slowly, ensuring continued water supply to rivers and lakes during dry periods.

Dr. Mwakima however said that the ability of the Water Towers Ecosystems to provide critical services is undermined by various human activities which includes deforestation, demand for expansion of agricultural land, human settlements, charcoal burning and infrastructural development.

“These are Mt. Kenya, Mau Forest Complex, Aberdare Ranges, Cherangany Hills and Mt. Elgon. Having been endowed with all these wealth towers, our country is still among the countries classified by the United Nations as water scarce,” she added.

The PS said that to achieve the target of conserving the 5 water towers and other important natural forests, the Government has earmarked them as flagship projects within the Kenya Vision 2030 development strategy.

She said that forest habitats support a wide variety of ecological niches and are rich in flora and fauna, adding that forests also receive and conserve a wide range of biodiversity.

“This provides resilience to seasonal weather variations. The forested water catchments provide more than 15,800 million cubic meters of water per year representing over 75 percent of the country’s renewable surface water resources,” the PS further said.

Dr. Mwakima was speaking at a Naivasha hotel during the official opening of the Inception Workshop of the Technical Assistance to the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (Water) Programme.

The PS tasked participants to discuss and detail out concrete work plans that will inform the subsequent activities for the PMU and the way forward as regards the other Result Areas.

She said discussions must be guided by the strategies as outlined in the TA organization and Methodology and knowledge of the most up-to-date Programme situation gained during the Technical team orientation.

Dr. Mwakima further said that it is crucial that any changes, new developments and emerging issues are taken into consideration if preparation of realistic work plans are to be developed.

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Cabinet Secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu and JICA’s Chief Representative Keiko Sano watering a tree in commemoration of the 13th JICA President Award.Looking on are PS Dr. Mwakima and KEFRI Director Dr.Ben Chikamai.

The Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has won the 13th Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Award.

While gracing the occasion at the KEFRI headquarters in Kiambu County,  Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu lauded the Institution, attributing the  award to the Institute’s exemplary work and performance as well as its commitment and dedication to furthering the ideals of JICA’s International Cooperation activities in all JICA supported Projects globally.

Prof Wakhungu said JICA’s President Award is given in honor of individuals or organizations for their long-standing contribution to JICA’s activities in Japan and overseas.

The Cabinet Secretary said that through Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation programme support, KEFRI’s capacity in research and development has been enhanced tremendously.

“We will  continue to support KEFRI in pursuing collaboration with development partners to share research achievements to address emerging challenges of Climate Change and poverty alleviation in our country and African Region”, she added.

The CS noted that the technologies generated and training provided through the collaboration, have enabled sound forestry practices and management of forest resources both nationally and in the African region.

Wakhungu said that the collaboration has further expanded the scope of KEFRI’s on-going projects of Capacity Development for Sustainable Management to share knowledge on best practices in Eastern Africa and a further initiative to Combat Desertification in Africa through interventions in Forestry.

Present at the event was State Department for Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who commended JICA for its continued financial and technical support, saying it has enabled KEFRI scientists to empower communities with forestry skills to improve livelihoods.

Dr. Mwakima said that JICA’s agreement to support Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management in Kenya clearly demonstrates its commitment towards helping the Country achieve its objective of 10 percent forest cover as stipulated in Kenya’s Constitution 2010 and Medium Terms Plans of Vision 2030.

Also present at the occasion was Chief Representative JICA Kenya Office, Ms. Keiko Sano alongside KEFRI Director Dr. Ben Chikamai.

KEFRI was selected for the award based on its long history of cooperation and very strong tie with JICA and was amongst 23 organizations shortlisted for the award.

KEFRI and JICA partnership stretches over a span of 31 years in areas of contribution to economic and social development and improvement of people’s welfare in their own countries.

Recently, the organization has also received additional Grant Aid support from JICA for purchase of equipment under the Small and Medium Enterprise arrangement, which will go a long way in further equipping their laboratories in the Regional Centres.

Front row- Cabinet Secretary Prof.Judi Wakhungu (right) together with PS Dr. Mwakima (centre) and KEFRI Director Dr. Ben Chikamai (left) at the 13th JICA President Award held at the Institute’s Headquarters to recognize KEFRI’s exemplary work and performance.

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Participants pose for a group photo during the international research conference at the St Paul University Limuru

Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu said today that by working together nations would find and implement solutions that enhance climate mitigation and adaptation.

She spoke at St. Pauls University Limuru campus today where she officiated the International Research Conference whose theme is Strengthening Research and Innovations for Climate Adaptation and sustainable development.

“This goal resonates well with the objective of the Paris Agreement, aptly captured, “to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty”. She said.

According to United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) 2011 adaptation to climate change involves putting together practical steps to protect countries and citizens from the likely disruption and damage that would result from effects of climate change. Key economic sectors in Kenya are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Kenya has nevertheless made remarkable strides towards creating the necessary policy framework and institutions to facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation. This includes the National Adaptation Plan, National Climate Change Action Plan whose mitigation actions span six sectors that were found to have the highest potential to reduce Green House Gas emissions, namely, forestry, energy, transport, agriculture, industry and waste.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu with St. Pauls University Vice Chancellor Prof. Joseph Galgalo During the International research conference (1)

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From left, CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu, PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima and KWS acting Director General during the unveiling of the great Northern aerial mammal census comprising Oslo Elephants buffalos, giraffes and gravy’s zebras of the Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit and Meru Ecosystem. The event was held at Hotel Sarova in Isiolo County.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has commenced Wildlife Survey in Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit and Meru Ecosystems, whose objective aims to determine the present status of mammal population size and their distribution since 2012.

While officiating the Aerial Review of Elephants, Buffalo, Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra in Laikipia, Samburu, Marsabit and Meru ecosystem, Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said the survey will assist the Government to determine the present status of the four animal species, establishment of poaching levels by counting aging Elephants and carcasses within the ecosystem alongside detailing the changes of mammals population size and their distribution since the last aerial review of 2012.

Prof. Wakhungu said the Aerial assessment also targets to sustain the long term monitoring of Elephants, Buffalos, Giraffes and Grevy’s Zebras in the four Counties.

She said the survey will primarily gather data on Elephants,Buffalos,Giraffes and Grevy’s Zebras as well as information on livestock including  Cattle, Shoats, Donkeys and Camel, adding that other data to be collected will entail locations of human activities involving logging, farming, settlements and Cattle boma visa-vi watering points.

CS said the information generated will further be used to guide policy issues in the conservation and management of wildlife in the ecosystem, which will incur corridor development and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts.

“This will help assess their survival prospects, learn more about their ecology and survival chances in the face of various pressures, establish human-elephant conflict pressure points and the distribution of elephant carcass in the survey area,” Prof Wakhungu said.

“As a long term monitoring process, the survey data and information is valuable for effective management of the entire Laikipia, Samburu, Meru and Marsabit ecosystem which continues to experience pressures from human population growth and consequent changes in land use types”, Wakhungu added.

She stated that the census  will cover approximately 60,000 square kilometers and its results will provide information required to develop the State of Wildlife Monitoring Report as well as the National Status of Wildlife Conservation Reports expected to be submitted to Parliament after every five and two year’s respectively as per the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013.

Also present at the launch was State Department for Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who urged County governments to allocate resources for management of the County Reserves as well as activities like aerial surveys.

Dr. Mwakima said the initiative will enable County Reserve Managers to use science to appreciate the reserves they are managing on behalf of communities living in the County.

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During this review period there was a significant reduction in rainfall intensity relative to the previous 7-day period over most parts of the country. Parts of Coast and Southeast however recorded small increases…….read more

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Statement by her Excellency Prof. Judi Wakhungu, E.G.H., Cabinet Secretary – Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya on the occasion of high-level segment – UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, on 15th – 16th November, 2017………Read more

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The PS waters a tree she planted at Goro Rukesa Primary.

The Ministry of environment and Natural Resources has launched the 2017 Eastern Regime short rains tree planting season at Goro Rukesa Primary School in Marsabit County. The event was graced by the Principal Secretary for Natural Resources Dr. Margaret Mwakima who was the Cabinet Secretary’s (CS) representative during the event.

In a speech read on the behalf of the CS by PS Mwakima during the launch at Goro Rukesa Primary School, Prof. Wakhungu said that the County governments and the Country at large need to embrace   innovations that will enable dry-lands across the country to benefit from the rich experiences from Israel regarding rehabilitation and reclamation of deserts after she formalized collaborations between KFS and Israeli Authorities responsible for forestry.

 “No effort should be spared in the protection, conservation and sustainable utilization of the important forests of northern Kenya including but not limited to Marsabit forest, Mt. Kulal, Ndotos, Leroghi and the Matthews Range from deforestation and degradation for continued provision of the environmental, social and economic benefits,” she added.

The Cabinet Secretary said that her Ministry will continue to provide the necessary policy and legal frameworks at both the national and county governments to enable Kenyans make consistent improvements in regard to proper management of forests across the country.

The Headmaster of Goro Rukesa Primary School receives a donation of laptops to the school from Dr. Mwakima. Looking on is the Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests.

Prof Wakhungu said that in recognition to the important role forests have played in the lives of Kenyans, she has through the KFS partnered with the County governments in the development of the Transition Implementation Plans for devolved forestry functions for all the 47 counties.

 “These plans provide a clear set of interventions for forestry development in all counties and lays out a clear roadmap for the implementation of forestry functions by the County governments.  In my view therefore, it is important that Counties take advantage of these frameworks to finalize the processes by signing the plans so that they can move to implementation with support from the Kenya Forest Service”, the Cabinet Secretary said.

Prof Wakhungu pointed out that dry-land forests are an important source of livelihood for the rural communities, particularly the pastoralists in the rural areas as well as in urban settings.

She said the forests in addition to supply of  tree fodder, firewood and charcoal, also provide a whole range of non-wood forest products and support rural livelihoods to an estimated human population of about 10 million Kenyans.

Dr. Mwakima being introduced to County Government officials by Governor Mohamud Mohamed Ali when she arrived for the launch.

Dr. Mwakima who represented the CS was accompanied by Marsabit Governor Mohamud Mohamed Ali, his deputy, a team of senior officers from the KFS, the KFS board of Directors, other local leaders and residents during the event.

 

ENDs

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During this review period most parts of the country continued to receive their seasonal rainfall with significant amounts being reported especially in the Northeast, Highlands east of the Rift Valley as well as the Coastal region……read more

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Heavy rainfall of more than 50mm is likely to occur from tonight,    2nd November to 6th November 2017 over various parts of Coastal Kenya and off shore. The rains are likely to cause flooding in low lying areas near the coastline, in riverlines and other water repositories. The Flooding situation may worsen most parts of the coast due to the fact that a lot of water has been accumulating on the ground since Wednesday, 1st November, 2017.

Heavy rainfall of more than 40mm is also expected over the extreme Northeastern parts of the country from tonight 2nd November to tomorrow, 3rd November 2017……read more

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KENYA PROUDLY HOSTS UNEA 3.

Kenya is proud to have hosted a very successful United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) 3 Conference where the world committed […]

Statement from the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

Kenya  is hosting the  third session of the United  Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 3), the  highest decision making body  on […]

PROJECT ASSISTANT’S ADVERT

                  The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has received funding from […]

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