Enapuiyapui wetland in Nakuru County 


This is a sub-department under the Directorate Department and draws its mandate from  Sections 42 & 55 of EMCA that deal specifically with management and conservation of rivers, lakes and wetlands; and coastal and marine environments respectively to address issues of fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems.

The main functions of the sub-department include:
1)  Promoting conservation and sustainable utilization of coastal, marine and freshwater resources (CMF),

2) Implementation of relevant MEAs, and development and implementation of a National Wetlands Policy;

3) Coordinating and harmonize CMF conservation and management activities, including those of lead agencies, the private sector, NGOs and communities;

4) Developing and supervising the implementation of management plans for the sustainable utilization and conservation of the coastal zone and inland aquatic ecosystems through the development of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management plan (ICZM).

5) Collaborating with the relevant partners to ensure monitoring and inventories of aquatic ecosystems to assist in their proper management, and to identify appropriate measures to prevent or minimize pollution;

6) Coordinating the coastal and marine sub-theme under the KCDP Environment Initiative; leading NEMA’s participation in shared aquatic ecosystem processes.

7) Coordination the commemoration of the World Wetlands Day.

EMCA 1999 provides for conservation and management of Kenya’s Coastal, Marine and Freshwater resources Sections 42 & 55 of EMCA deal specifically with management and conservation of rivers, lakes and wetlands; and coastal and marine environments respectively

EMCA Wetlands, Riverbanks, lakeshores and Sea shore regulations protect aquatic resources and their riparian zones and are enforced by PECs and DECs
Other EMCA regulations such as Water Quality and EIA protect aquatic ecosystems through setting of high effluent discharge standards and controlling developments respectively

CMF sub-dept. was therefore formed to promote conservation and sustainable use of Kenya’s Coastal, Marine and Freshwater resources as per EMCA 1999 and NEMA Strategic plan 2008-2012

1.    State of the Coast Report
The State of the Coast Report 2008 is the first of its kind in Kenya. It highlights the status, trends, threats  and impacts to Kenya’s coastal and marine environment. The report has been compiled by a National Task Force constituted by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in 2004.

2.    Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) National Plan of action
The goal of the ICZM Action Plan is to conserve the coastal and marine environment and to ensure that its resources are utilised in a sustainable manner for the benefit of coastal communities and the national economy. Inspired by the need to balance environmental management interests with economic development interests, the ICZM Action Plan is set to foster a coordinated and integrated approach to resource utilization and management for sustainable development.

3.    Shoreline Management strategy
This document outlines a strategy for shoreline management in support of overall coastal zone planning and decision-making. The strategy takes a macro view of Kenya’s shoreline to ensure all issues are identified and national and regional development policies are taken into account.

4.     Draft ICZM Policy
The sub-department has developed a draft ICZM Policy. The policy gives recommendations on the protection of the various coastal ecosystems including Coral Reefs, Mangrove Forests, Coastal Forests, Sea Grass Beds, Deltas and Estuaries, Marine Protected areas, Fisheries, Water Resources, Shoreline changes, Community Issues, Land use and management, Access and Benefit Sharing, Research and Monitoring, Education and Awareness. Once complete, the policy will give recommendations on the institutional arrangements for ensuing integrated approach towards management of coastal and marine resources.

5.    Draft Coastal Pollution Prevention and Control guidelines
Among the major threats that have been identified, facing the coastal and marine environment is pollution, resulting mainly from land-based sources, and to some extent, from marine based activities. Pollution loads come in form of solid waste, sewage, and chemical and effluent discharges into the aquatic environment. Thus, several economic activities carried out within the coastal zone and the associated hinterland catchments, contribute significantly to environmental pollution of the marine ecosystem.

6.    Lake Ol Bolossat Management Plan
Management plan for Lake Ol Bolossat identifies issues and proposes management interventions to tackle the issues. It makes recommendations for Biodiversity and Research, Water Management, Infrastructure development, human wildlife conflict, Forestry and Tourism Management.  The plan also encourages participation of various stakeholders including local communities in management of the Lake. The plan was launched in January 2010.

7.     Lake Jipe Integrated Management Plan
Lake Jipe Management Plan gives a description of the Ecosystem. The overall purpose of the management plan is to guide the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources in the lake Jipe Ecosystem.

9.    The National Wetlands Policy
The sub-department is also spearheading review of the draft National Wetlands Policy. The draft Policy has been approved by the National Environment Council and will be tabled at Cabinet. The Policy gives guidance on management and sustainable use of Kenyan wetlands, as part of the country’s obligations and as a signatory to the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands. The Policy gives guidance on activities that should be carried out near wetlands in order to ensure that wetlands continue performing their critical ecological, hydrological and buffering functions.
Download wetlands policy.

10.    Wetlands Assessment and Monitoring Strategy for Kenya (WAMSK)
Given the vast importance of wetland resources, the department worked with consultants to develop a WAMSK to help enhance and simplify wetland monitoring across the country. WAMSK proposes ease but reliable ways to monitor the health of wetland ecosystems most of which are faced with degradation. The aim of the assessment to help initiate restoration measures.


World Wetlands Day Celebrations 2020

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. 


NEMA Board of management holding a Bamboo seedling during the celebrations


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 natutal vegetation.

 Enapuiyapui Swamp which is located in Nakuru County. 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 income.


CS Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko planting a Bamboo tree during the wetlands celebrations at Enapuiyapui Swamp in Nakuru County


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.

“Wetlands provide very essential ecosystem services such as water regulation like flood control, Carbon dioxide absorption and reduction in pollution. Indeed Wetlands acts as giant filters, they are often referred to as ‘The Kidneys of the Earth’ just like forests are the ‘Lungs of the Earth,’ said NEMA Acting Director General Mamo B. Mamo as he urged residents to coexist with the wetland as millions rely on them.

The convention on wetlands known as the Ramsar Convention was adopted in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Kenya became a contracting party to the convention in October 1990 and since then, six wetlands have been designated as Ramsar sites.   Every year on the 2nd of February we celebrate the World Wetlands Day to commemorate the signing of the convention.  The celebrations aim at promoting conservation and wise use of wetlands internationally.


The guests present during the celebrations at Enapuiyapui Swamp in Nakuru County


In Kenya, NEMA has been coordinating the national World Wetlands Day celebrations since 2004 in collaboration with various stakeholders. The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’, under the slogan wetlands for better lives.

This year’s venue, Enapuiyapui swamp, is has very few trees to cover the vulnerable water catchment that gives life to millions of people and animals. Eucalyptus, pine, cypress, cider, grass and reeds are the main vegetation found around the swamp.

The rising population among the forest dwellers is one of the biggest and major threats facing this wetland. Large herds of grazing livestock trample on the wetland, leaving it bare and destroyed.   

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