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.


Abandoned quarries a threat to humans

Abandoned quarry

Quarries for Stone mining and Murram extraction have become rampant in most parts of the Kenya due to rapid growth in infrastructure developments that have increased demand for these raw materials. They are becoming detrimental to existing habitats. When quarries are no longer needed, they should not be left as they are. Their rehabilitation is essential and can assist in the recovery of these areas. Rehabilitation requires careful planning to ensure that the recovered site is functionally integrated and complements the surrounding natural environment. Ideally, quarry rehabilitation emphasizes the creation of naturalized landscapes that are designed for biodiversity and are compatible with surrounding lands. Their decommissioning should aim at designing and
implementing a rehabilitation plan for that accounts for biological and ecological needs aligned with social
and educational benefits. Ecological rehabilitation of the quarry with a special focus on restoring original
ecological functionalities of the site is necessary.
Quarry rehabilitation and site restoration success lies in the innovative approach followed integrating ecological,
social and technical aspects. Environmental Consultants will be responsible for designing and technical guidance
to contractor implementing rehabilitation plan while the ecological expert will be in charge of coordinating
the compilation of biodiversity and ecosystem functionalities and including them in the design of the
ecological rehabilitation plan. Progressive rehabilitation of the quarry will take place
with backfilling, Cliff Scarification Stabilizing of rehabilitated areas and land forms and Re-vegetation
with native trees and grasses. Through creative restoration planning, mineral extraction
offers the opportunity to improve the environment in and around quarry sites or to create new land uses.

NEMA plants trees towards ten percent tree cover

NEMA Chairman, Mr. John Konchellah planting a tree seedling with Entarara Women during the exercise [PHOTO: A. MWANGI/NEMA]

NEMA has planted 94,720 seedlings during the this short rains in the ongoing campaign to plant trees countrywide to draw closer to 10 percent tree cover by 2022. These trees have been planted in Marsabit, Maasai Mau Forest, and Ganzi Kwale (mangroves) as NEMA’s contribution to realization of required forest cover.
In continuation of this campaign, the Authority spearheaded planting of over 10,000 tree seedlings in Kajiado South from 2nd – 4th December 2019 in Entarara forest, Rombo Springs, Kisilel Springs, Nkamurunya Springs, Nolturesh Springs, Oldonyo- Oibor primary school and Lemog’o museum. The three day event ended at Entarara Forest where
over 2,000 tree seedlings were planted. “This season marks our second cycle of the tree planting campaign with a target of growing 50 million trees seedlings countrywide,” Environment and forestry CS said in his statement read on behalf by NEMA board chairman John Konchellah he noted that Kajiado County, experiences drought
and is classified as arid and semi-arid land. Kenya has a forest cover of 7.4%, 3.6% short of the constitutionally accepted 10% forest cover. The decreasing forest cover is aggravated by an abated environmental destruction of trees for charcoal burning.
Tobiko insisted that the extension of the moratorium on the ban of logging and the ban on use of charcoal as a source of energy is the only way to address illegal logging as the government rolled out tree planting and awareness campaigns to increase forest cover.

NEMA board chairman, John Konchellah in his side said the Board has made a deliberate decision to ensure
that the Authority includes tree planting activities in all its corporate events. The Authority has planted 11,800
tree seedlings in different areas Kajiado South subcounty, targeting to plant more than 50,000 seedlings across country during the National tree planting and World Environment Days in contribution to realization of 10% forest cover by 2022.
Mamo said that NEMA has been implementing two projects on Kenya Climate adaptation Fund Programme
in Loitoktok and in Kajiado West Sub County managed by Nasaru community to enhance climate change
resilience for improved food security and establishing resilient water management systems for both human
and animals.
He added since 2016, when the project began, it has resulted into improved resilient agricultural production
and agro-forestry through the use of water harvesting technologies. Through KEFRI, an implementing entity
for the NEMA’s Adaptation Fund, communities have received grafted mangoes and fruits trees which are
drought resistant.
Enhanced growing of trees in the County will also safeguard food security as it will help to combat climate change. The Authority in collaboration with relevant government departments will continue to mobilize funds nationally and internationally to assist communities build resilience towards climate change and adaptive capacities of all vulnerable communities in the country. The function also was attended by representatives
from Ministry of Environment, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Forest Research Institute and County
government of Kajiado.

From L-R John Kepue, Head of NIE Wangari Kirumba, Tracy Amasa and Harron Wanjohi taking part in a tree planting exercise in Entarara Forest Kajiado County [PHOTO: G. MAINA]

NEMA Board Member Teresia Mbaika (L) with a local woman at
Entarara forest planting a tree [PHOTO: D. NJOKI/NEMA]

10 million trees to reclaim Mau

CS Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko planting a tree seedling with NEMA Board members at Sierra Leone Maasai Mau forest [PHOTO: S. IRUNGU/NEMA]

The government launched 10 million tree planting initiative to restore the Maasai Mau water tower on 1st November 2019. This marked the end of 60 day eviction notice issued by the government for the Mau illegal settlers to leave the iconic tower.
Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko while presiding over the launch noted that almost all the illegal settlers have voluntarily moved out after the government deployed a humane and judicious face by providing free transport to them to move their belongings out of water catchment area.
The restoration of the water tower dubbed “Restore Mau Save the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem, Save Lives” drew participation of multi government agencies led by Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), National Environment Complaints Committee (NECC), National Youth Service, Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authorty (ENSDA), Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Universities, members of the public among others.
During the ceremony over 200,000 trees were planted in the reclaimed areas with target of 3 million tress expected to be planted during the short rains.
In addition, through the modern technology dubbed “aerial seeding” was used by KEFRI to plant 4.5 million seeds using aircraft. Through this technology, about 20 million seeds would be scattered within a few days after launch of restoration of the water tower.The Rift Valley regional commissioner, George Natembea who has been in the frontline to reclaim the forest said the farmers who left the forest voluntarily would be allowed to harvest crops already planted in the area bur warned them not to destroy tree seedlings in the process. During planting exercise local leaders who accompanied the CS, among them Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina and Narok North Mp Moitalel Ole Kenta, lamented that rivers in the Mara, Lake Victoria and Nile basins that sources the forest, are drying up
with devastating effects to millions of people who depend on them. In an elaborate plan to guarantee the success of
ongoing environmental conservation initiative including increasing Kenya’s forest to at least 10% by the year 2022, Tobiko said government is cultivating closer relationships with private sector organizations and community groups.
With heightened partnerships Tobiko further added that the state agencies charged with environmental management responsibilities had also stepped up their surveillance to curb environmental pollution across the country.
The launch conforms to a 2018 Presidential Directive that Kenya should increase its forest cover to 10 % by 2022 through the planting of an estimated 1.8 billion tree seedlings.

NEMA’s Adaptation fund improving livelihoods

From Left: NEMA’s Board Member Dr. Juma Ngeiywa, CCCM Evans Nyabuto and CDA Director Mwanasita Kavemba planting a Mangrove seedling at Ganzi in Kwale County


NEMA has been implementing the global Adaptation Fund, for the Integrated Programme to build Resilience to Climate change and Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable Communities in Kenya. The program is undertaken in 14 selected counties in Kenya. The Adaptation Fund is a finance mechanism provided for under Kyoto protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of which Kenya is a signatory.The programme is designed to respond to effects of Climate Change and covers; water management, food security, agro forestry, coastal and mangrove ecosystems and disaster risk reduction. This aims at developing and implementing integrated adaptive mechanisms to increase community livelihood resilience to climate change in a number of ways.One of the Executing Entities for the programme is Coast Development Authority (CDA). CDA has been able to achieve the following based on the funding from NEMA’s adaptation fund; A 12,000 Cubic Meter water pan at Midoina in Kilifi Sub-County has been completed and in use, 171,045 Mangrove seedlings have been planted for rehabilitation of Mangrove forests in Kwale County, Coral reef rehabilitation and restoration in Wasini is complete (27 natural transfers of corals and 173 artificial transfers of corals) and assessment of impacts of sea walls complete and development of National Coral Reef Restoration Protocol. To assess the progress of the project, NEMA Board
of management visited the project sites on 6th and 7th November 2019 where over 2,000 mangroves were planted
at Ganzi with the local communities and CDA. The Board also visited a coral reef rehabilitation site in Wasini Island.

Wasini Beach Management Unit (BMU) is a group of youth and women who realized the need to artificially rehabilitate the degraded coral reefs and therefore sought the financial assistance of CDA. NEMA approved the
proposal by CDA to finance the project from the adaptation fund. The rehabilitated coral reefs have seen increased number of fish in the Section of the ocean as the degraded coral reefs have been restored. Climate change and related human activities have contributed to degradation of coral reefs. Human activities such as dumping of waste,
poor fishing methods, cutting of Mangroves and sedimentation. Generally, healthy coral reefs provide shelter for various species of aquatic animals. Pic: NEMA Board Member, Augustihno Neto snow cling into the
rehabilitated Coral reefs in Indian Ocean near Wasini [PHOTO:S. IRUNGU/NEMA]

Government ramps up private sector collaboration

NEMA Ag. Director General, Mamo Boru (L) with EABL official Erick Kaniti during the water conference at Acacia Hotel Kisumu [PHOTO: COURTESY]

The government will plant at least 2 billion tree seedlings by the year 2022. According to Environment and Forestry CS, Keriako Tobiko, the government is cultivating closer relations with private sector organisations and community groups. In a speech read on his behalf in Kisumu by the Acting NEMA Director General Mamo Boru at the Lake Region Clean Water Conference on 7th November 2019, sponsored by Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL),
Tobiko said, alongside resource mobilization, public-private partnerships will be further strengthened to ensure strict compliance with environmental management regulations. The conference was held at Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu.
Already, public-private partnerships have begun to generate positive returns with the private sector contributing more than 10million tree seedlings in various parts of the country for the ongoing national reforestation campaigns. Various corporate organisations, he noted, are also actively involving their workforce in environmental regeneration programmes.
“Our engagements with the private sector have been very successful in recent months and we have adopted a leave no-one behind approach to ensure the sustainability of environmental conservation efforts, Tobiko said, adding that, “Environmental Management remains a collective responsibility for both the public private players. We must, as the government, private sector and community members work together to fight illegal logging, stop pollution and restore our environment for our own wellbeing and that of future generations.” With heightened partnerships, Tobiko further added that state agencies charged with environmental management responsibilities had also stepped up their surveillance to curb environmental pollution across the country. “It is no longer business as usual as we continue to engage private sector players to ensure strict compliance with environmental regulations,” he said. He added that
Industrial concerns discharging effluent and sewerage directly to Lake Victoria among other sensitive environmental ecosystems will face the full wrath of the law.

Marsabit to plant 1 million trees

NEMA Board members, Ag. Director General, Mamo B. Mamo with pupils of Tiigo primary school
during a tree planting drive [PHOTO: S. IRUNGU/NEMA]

NEMA launched a campaign to plant 1 million tree seedlings in Marsabit County on 22nd October 2019 for the October – December short rains. The launch took place at Tiigo Primary School and Debaso Area in Marsabit Forest, Saku Sub County. At Tiigo, 2,200 trees were planted while 7,000 trees were planted at Debaso Area in . Tiigo primary school in North Horr Sub County has undertaken deliberate efforts to plant and nature trees within their compound. As a result, NEMA pledged to complement their effort by donating 10 million litres water tank and branded waste bins for every class. The campaign was led by a multiagency team comprised of NEMA, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, County Government of Marsabit, Kenya Water Towers and Community based organisations. In total, the team coordinated planting of 38,720 trees in the entire Marsabit County. The Authority committed to continue working with the communities to ensure the rest of target to plant trees are met. Marsabit forest is a protected area covering over 100 hectares. The forest generates multiple ecosystem goods and services to the local community supporting livelihoods. The forest has been experiencing substantial land conversion for town expansion, agriculture production and settlements threatening the status of the forest. Speaking during the launch, NEMA Chairman, Mr. John Konchellah who led the exercise applauded the County for their effort to safeguard its forests. He reiterated the need to conserve the forest and plant more trees to enhance the forest cover towards achieving the required targets. “Marsabit County is expected to plant 5 million trees by 2022 to plug into the country’s effort to achieve a 10 percent cover by then. The forest has nothing to do with someone coming with seedling from Nairobi, it has much to do with a people planting trees and naturing them.

We are bound by a presidential directive to ensure the country achieves 10% forest cover by 2022,” Konchellah said.
On his part, NEMA Ag. Director General, Mamo B. Mamo urged residents to join hands and prevent the County
from suffering from extreme vagaries of climate change. He urged them to plant trees at individual level and ensure they grow. “Do not just plant trees only, ensure the trees are taken care of,” Mamo said during the launch
of tree planting at Tiigo Primary School in Marsabit County. The Authority also warned those
encroaching Marsabit forest that the government composed of a multiagency team will take
action particularly those settling on forest reserved areas.

Pollution takes toll on Lake Victoria

Efforts. Researchers collecting samples of water from Kisumu Resort on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya. PHOTOS BY RACHEL MABALA

By Franklin Draku

As you sit at home or in a hotel, drinking that glass of water, you could be putting your life at risk since some of it, whose source is Lake Victoria, may be contaminated. Read more…..