In 2012 NEMA decided to put up ‘green points’ in select counties guided by a number of criteria including eco-climatic zones of the country, the current constitution of Kenya, Vision 2030, the authority’s strategic plan and devolution strategy amongst others.
The Green Point (s) is a concept that practically embraces the use of green economy. In this case, Green economy upholds the use of natural resources and energy while enabling economic growth that supports creation of jobs opportunities and improvement of livelihoods thus reducing poverty.
The concept stimulates green investments in and across various economic and social sectors. This investments help to reduce the natural capital and ecosystems.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has established Green Points in Counties thanks to the devolved system of government.
Currently, four green points have been put up and are currently operational across the country; in Homa-Bay, Isiolo, Embu and Taita Taveta while Kajiado, Lamu and Kilifi will be ready soon. Plans are underway to develop others across the country. The Green Points have been constructed through funding support from Danida.
In line with Kenya’s new constitution, Vision 2030 and Kenya’s Devolution plan, The Green Point office model was started in 2002, in a bid to promote Green Economy in Kenya. Consequently, NEMA decentralized its functions to the country’s 47 counties.
The Green Points offices combine the normal NEMA office-function and facility-with an open public meeting, information and demonstration area, with the design based on the concept of the Green Economy.
This centre is demonstration of our future thinking. Ideally, Kenya will continue with its efforts in environment conservation and sustainable growth where young Kenyans can get jobs as well continue to promote environmental conservation.
Green Economy initiatives have great potential in improving and stimulating economic growth in Kenya. Essentially, Green economy upholds the efficient use of natural resources and energy enabling better management of resources such as water, raw materials and energy.
Generally, climate change is an emerging issue not just for Kenya but for other countries in the world. It is a major concern for everyone. The rains are falling
in a way that we have never witnessed before. Here as in Kenya as in many parts
of Eastern Africa, prolonged drought is a concern and the government has active role in dealing with this phenomena.
In addition, the centres serve as interfaces for dialogue with the county governments, business sector and local communities on matters patterning to environmental management and ‘green businesses’.
Services offered at the Green Points includes NEMA operational functions such as review of licensing and inspections, exhibitions of appropriate green technologies by the local business community as well as act as an environmental information resource centre. The offices are also to act as advisory functions to county government, business people, and the wider publics.
The design and function is meant to lead to a small ecological footprint as possible. This will be achieved by incorporating aspects such as rainwater harvesting, waste water recycling technologies, low energy consumption, among other features.
Every NEMA Green Point office is designated to be eco-friendly with the construction factoring in aspects such as minimal carbon emissions, low energy consumption, water harvesting, use of local materials and proper waste management. In doing so, the buildings provide adequate platforms for educating and creating awareness on importance of these environmental aspects to various stakeholder groups.
Establishment of Green Points will ensure that all communities; right from grassroots level will benefit from access to information, trainings and exhibitions that ultimately lead to a ‘green’ initiatives.