Saturday, May 26, 2018

5th February, 2018

VIP’s touring L. Olobolosot – from L- CS, Sicily Kariuki, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, CS. Najib Balala, Mr. Swazuri, Govnor Kimemia, lawyer Karaja Kabage & 1st lady Anne Wanjohi.

The outgoing Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has been applauded by a cross section of leaders for her achievements in the Ministry and notably the ban on plastic bags.

Led by the Cabinet secretary for Health, Sicily Kariuki  and Governor of Tharaka Nithi County, Muthomi Njuki, the leaders commended Wakhungu for ridding the environment of choking plastic bags adding that the toxic waste was harmful to the lives of citizens as it caused health complications including cancer. The leaders said this during this years’ World Wetlands Day that was celebrated at Lake Ol Bolossat in Nyandarua County.

During the annual event, Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife represented the President as the chief guest. He noted that development in Nyandarua County will be fast tracked as a tourist circuit for bird watching among other development initiatives to be implemented by the national government.

Prof Wakhungu informed those present that she had already signed the notice to gazette Lake Ol Bolossat as a wetland protected area and the document is at the AG’s office for finalization and gazettement.

The National Lands Commission, Dr. Mohamed Swazuri gave notice to those who had encroached on the lake’s catchment area to vacate within 90 days after gazettement. He added that the Commission in collaboration with the County Government will re establish the boundaries of the lake that will include the catchment area before a title deed is issued.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 2nd February to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention, on Wetlands of International Importance, to which Kenya is a signatory. The Day provides an opportunity to take stock of the values of wetlands and to raise awareness on its benefits.

The theme for this years’ event was Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future.

Lake Ol Bollosat was identified as the venue for the event as it is a unique ecosystem and a shared national resource. It is the only salty lake on one end and fresh water lake on the other and home to the largest hippos in Kenya. With its source in the slopes of the Aberdares, it is the source of River Ewaso Ng’iro that traverses 4 counties i.e. Nyandarua, Laikipia, Samburu and Marsabit. It has a rich biodiversity comprising 49 bird species and various varieties of fish. However, it is facing siltation as a result of cultivation on the slopes. In fact, 7000 acres of irregular land has been carted off for cultivation. This encroachment will be reversed when the gazette notice is enforced.

The event was attended by Cabinet Secretaries for Tourism and Health, Principal Secretary for Wildlife, a representative of the Principal Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Governors of Nyandarua, Tharaka Nithi and Laikipia counties, members of parliament, area senator, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Nema.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu delivering her speech during the WWD fetes at Lake Olobolossot, Oljorok, Nyandarua county.

 

 

 

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