Friday, September 20, 2019
CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu being received at Maasai girls  sec. Sch., by Mr. Maluki Mwendwa, chair of the NEMA board of  director's.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu being received at Maasai girls sec. Sch., by Mr. Maluki Mwendwa, chair of the NEMA board of director’s.

Destruction of the various ecosystems and natural resources could cause catastrophic effects some of which have already been witnessed in the country, cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resource Prof Judi Wakhungu has said.

 She noted Kenya has been experiencing adverse effects of climate change like other parts of the world that caused disasters in environment, water and forestry sectors.

She warned against destruction of ecosystems such as the world famous Maasai Mara game reserve that is home to the phenomenon wildebeest migration and considered the 8th wonder of the world. Further destruction she added would destroy the national heritage and livelihood of thousands of residents.

Speaking when presiding over this year’s World Environment Day marked in Narok town, the CS lamented it was unfortunate that such ecosystems are under constant threat of depletion from human encroachment.

Prof. Wakhungu cited the Maasai Mau Forest block in Narok County that forms the source of Mara River, the lifeline of millions downstream as a priority for conservation.

 This year’s theme, “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” focused on the increasing global population which is currently estimated at seven billion people who draw their livelihoods from dwindling environmental resources.

CS,Prof. Judi Wakhungu delivering her speech during  this year's World Env. Day fetes at Maasai girls high sch., Narok  County

CS,Prof. Judi Wakhungu delivering her speech during this year’s World Env. Day fetes at Maasai girls high sch., Narok County

It further emphasizes the need to embrace sustainable exploitation of resources and life within the planet’s limits thus urging mankind to “Consume with Care”. The theme also underscores the importance of the environment as a common resource for all which provides livelihood to mankind and the need to safeguard it through our collective action and responsibility.

 She said “We are reminded that we are the owners, users and protectors of the environment and so we must embrace sustainable interventions and actions that have a positive impact”.

 The slogan formulated as a rallying call for action dubbed; “Save it, or perish” could not have come at a better time Prof Wakhungu said adding “the slogan clearly reiterates our complete dependence on environmental resources to support livelihoods through provision of ecological goods and services”.

The CS disclosed that, the ministry has put in place various policies and strategies that guide sound environmental management. The long awaited Environment Policy has since been reviewed to incorporate emerging environmental issues and subjected to wider stakeholder validation. Once enacted by parliament, the Policy will inform all sectors on their respective roles in ensuring sound environmental management.

She observed that in severe cases of flooding and drought, Kenya had experienced loss of lives and property as well as destruction of infrastructure. Climate change Prof Wakhungu noted is largely caused by unsustainable human activities that increase emissions of greenhouse gases causing global warming. Destruction of catchment areas has depleted forest cover leading to extreme soil erosion downstream and flash floods in areas downstream as was recently experienced here in Narok County.

Prof. Wakhungu said challenges compromise sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. Poverty is a key contributor to unsustainable exploitation of resources as communities strive to earn their livelihood. The need to survive has taken precedence over conservation leading to rampant destruction of ecosystems through encroachment and unsustainable practices.  Resource-use conflict has been on the rise due to increasing population and competition over the dwindling resources.

The CS called upon colleagues in the relevant sectors to work together to ensure peaceful coexistence among communities and equitable sharing of available resources.

This year’s event that created awareness and educated the public on the importance of the environment, while appreciating the achievements made by diverse stakeholder’s environment was marked at Maasai Girls Secondary school.

 

 

 

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