Thursday, February 20, 2020

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko speaks to residents of Chara in Tana Delta (1)

Sally Mzolazola, 86 years old man from Chara in Tana Delta is a worried man. For the past 10 years waters from Kalota brook has turned salty making it unfit for human consumption, farming, fishing and livestock use.

Kalota brook is the lifeline of the people of Chara who are farmers and pastoralists. But water from the canal is contaminated with salt killing marine life, livestock and is a health risk to the local populace.

The water mixes with the inflow from the Indian Ocean due to decreased water levels in the canal allowing water flow in both directions. According to residents this is due to the river’s water abstraction downstream used for irrigation.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said there is need for a multi sectoral approach in dealing with the phenomenon and directed NEMA to initiate a short-term intervention awaiting a lasting solution to the problem.

“I will marshal the support of my colleagues in health, water, interior and energy Ministries, since restoring the Tana Delta ecosystem needs a multi sectoral approachand will ensure that the President’s Big Four Agenda is also achieved” the CS said.

The Ali WarionMP Ali Wariodecried the state of the water for the people of Chara and the uncontrolled growth and spread of the prosopis prunus plant locally known as ‘Mathenge’ saying an urgent intervention wasneeded.

He echoed the Tana River SenatorJumaWario appreciation of Environment CSKeriako Tobiko quick response to the environmental challenges facing the region.

Tana River Delta is a Ramsar ConventionSiteand the second most important estuarine and deltaic ecosystem in Eastern Africa. It supports a variety of coastal and marine plant and animal species, including five species of threatened marine turtles and IUCN red-listed African elephant.

The site also provides feeding and wintering ground for several migratory water birds. Activities carried out on the site include fishing, small-scale domestic-oriented agriculture, mangrove wood exploitation, grazing, water supply, tourism and research.

NEMA DG Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu committed to use the restoration fund to commence work in July as guided by the Land Use Management plan.

The CS was accompanied by Tana River Senator JumaWario, Garsen MP Hon. Ali Wario, Galolemp Said Hiribae ,NEMA board member  Halima Ware, KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau among others dignitaries.

 

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