Cabinet Secretary orders protection of wetlands

Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko (L) holding a bamboo income. seedling with NEMA Chairman, John Konchellah at Enapuiyapui Swamp during the World Wetlands Day Celebrations [PHOTO: L. MUTAI/NEMA

The Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko has ordered the removal of all eucalyptus planted near Enapuiyapui wetland, Nakuru County. Speaking during World Wetlands Day celebrations, Tobiko directed all eucalyptus to be cut down and the proceeds be used to plant indigenous trees within the area.
Mr. Tobiko directed agencies including NEMA, Kenya Water Towers, Kenya Forest Service to start mapping and surveying the wetland to identify the actual size of the wetland to facilitate the gazettement of the wetland as an internationally recognized Ramsar site. He also directed that no community will be allowed to graze their animals inside the wetland as it interferes with the growth of natural vegetation. Enapuiyapui Swamp which is located in Nakuru County.

NEMA’s Maureen Kwamboka speaking to Environment and Forestry PS. Dr. Chris Kiptoo at NEMA exhibition booth during the World Wetlands Day celebrations at Enapuiyapui Swamp, Nakuru County [PHOTO: L. MUTAI/NEMA]
The Swamp is not a gazette as wetland but exists within a government gazetted forest. It is the source of the Amala and Nyangores tributaries of the Mara River. The Swamp is within the Kiptunga forest substation that forms part of the Mau complex.During this year celebrations, a total of 830 beehives were given to the community of Kiptunga for the locals to benefit from the wetland and as a way of improving their livelihoods with NEMA donating 100
beehives. The community will also be trained on the use of the modern beehives.
The community was also requested to engage in extensive tree planting in their homes to increase tree cover.
Environment PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo said trees are not only meant for environmental conservation but also have many economic values. He urged the residents of Molo to plant trees like avocados which are source of NEMA Board Chairman, Mr. John Konchellah urged the public to protect the wetlands as if their lives depends on it.
He stated that NEMA will continue to crackdown on those encroaching on riparian reserves to ensure they are protected.
He further warned those still using the banned products that law will catch up with them. “NEMA will also intensify enforcement on the banned plastic paper bags that are finding the way into the country through the porous borders,” Mr. Konchellah said.

 

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