World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
In Kenya, World Environment Day celebration was held at Garissa University, Garissa County.
The Chief guest was Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, Garissa Governor, Ali Korane, Senator Abdulkadir Haji, Chief Administrative Secretaries, Ministry of Health Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, Environment and Forestry CAS Mohammed Elmi, PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo, NEMA Chairman John Konchellah, Director General, Mamo B. Mamo and heads of other institutions and diplomats.
The theme for the event was “Ecosystem Restoration” and rallying slogan-Act Now, Restore Nature and Livelihoods. Today’s celebrations also marked the launch of UN’s decade of ecosystem restoration.
CS Keriako Tobiko launched the Garissa County Environmental Performance Index prepared by @NemaKenya
The event kicked off by planting of 1000 trees at Garissa University grounds. The dignitaries also planted trees in honour of the 148 students who lost their lives during the 2015 Garissa University attack.
“Kenya Government has been implementing a comprehensive programme to ‘Reimagine. Recreate and Restore’ the ecosystem”, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech read by CS Keriako Tobiko.
Governor Ali Korane urged the locals to be wary of the threat posed by Alshab. He stated that the issues of environmental degradation posed by presence of refugees in the County should be addressed by both the National and County government.
“The gifts the nature has endowed to us is priceless, let us Restore our ecosystem,” Senator Abdulkadir Haji remarked.
PS Environment and Forestry, Dr. Chris Kiptoo stated that the ministry will avail 42.5 million seeds per County to facilitate achievement of 10 percent tree cover.
NEMA Chairman, John Konchellah urged the locals to grow trees planted to maturity.
“The healthier the ecosystem are, the healthier we are…its time to act and undertake Ecosystem Restoration ~ DG NEMA Mamo B. Mamo. He added that article 42 of the Constitution gives right to a clean and healthy environment, but the right comes with an individual responsibility to keep their sorrounding clean.
The Authority also launched the Garissa County Environmental Performance Index that signifies the status of environment in the County. The county leadership were urged to beef up tree planting to achieve the 10% tree cover.
The event was preceded by a series of build up activities such as a public forum at the University grounds, cleanup of Garissa town along Kismayu road, and tree planting at County school and NEP secondary school.
The Authority donated 3-5,000 litres water tanks -for NEP seconday school, County School and laid the foundation for the construction of 10,000 litres for Garissa University.
NEMA through it’s County Directors of Environment coordinated celebration of World Environment Day in the rest of 46 Counties throughout the country.