Sunday, December 17, 2017

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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