The new Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources Ambassador Chirau Ali Mwakwere has urged Kenyans to invest in garbage recycling plants assuring them the ministry will guide and accord them full support.
Speaking at the ministry headquarters where he met senior staff led by the Permanent Secretary Ali Mohammed and the Senior Director of Administration Paul Olando, the minister, citing garbage dumps at Kibaarani Mombasa and dandora in Nairobi as overwhelmed by garbage, said the thinking should focus to recycling plants and not creating new and bigger dumping sites. He pointed out that not only will the recycling plants create wealth but will also secure the environment, create employment for thousands of youths and keep cities free of pollutants.
The minister announced the ministry will embark on a massive and extensive scientific geological survey estimated at a cost of Kshs 16 billion to determine the mineral wealth of Kenya below ground so that instead of haphazard prospecting efforts will be concentrated only in areas that are identified in the survey to contain mineral wealth .
He said with the discovery of oil in the country the environment was bound to improve as there will be affordable sources of oil energy thus curbing depletion of forests by charcoal burners and wood cutters. This he said will enable the country to achieve the ten per cent forest cover adding that the ministry will continue to make the country greener in a participatory approach involving schools community based organizations and others.
The minister reminded the staff on the huge responsibility of the ministry which he said environment was the very centre of global survival of mankind and mineral resources the centre stage of Kenya’s new frontier in socio-economic development.
Pointing out that the ministry has highly skilled and professional manpower among the best in the world, he urged them to keep abreast with the latest technologies and developments in their respective fields assuring them of his full support as he values honesty and hard work adding that he is only unpopular with the corrupt as he castigated corruption and those engaged in looting and misusing of public resources.
On his part the Permanent Secretary Ali Mohammed assured the minister that the staff were highly qualified and committed professionals and were equal to the task of managing the national environment for the socio-economic development of the country.
He briefed the minister that the National Environment policy was being finalized to address environment changes and challenges for sustainable development.