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NEMA in collaboration with National Land Commission (NLC) and Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) launched a project titled; ‘Geo-mapping Riparian Zones/Lands for Catalyzing Sustainable Development in the Designated Special Economic Zones in Kenya’ at Panari Hotel on 4th July 2018. 

NEMA in collaboration with National Land Commission (NLC) and Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) launched a project titled; ‘Geo-mapping Riparian Zones/Lands for Catalyzing Sustainable Development in Designated Special Economic Zones in Kenya’ at Panari Hotel on 4th July 2018. The project was awarded Ksh 8M by the National Research Fund (NRF) through a competitive process for a period of 3years.

The objectives of the project are to Map riparian zones, Geo- code developments within riparian areas and Develop online and interactive public portal for riparian zones verification and environmental crimes reporting.

The geographical coverage of the project is Lamu, Mombasa and Kisumu counties. The event was attended by Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, DG NEMA and Dr.Emmanuel Nkurunziza, DG RCMRD others include Benard Opaa representing CEO NLC, Mr. Ngatia representing CEO NRF, Joy Kivata representing Director Wetland International, Mr. Maritim representing CEO WWF.

Prof. Wahungu in his remarks thanked RCMRD DG for accepting to partner with NEMA in this project and assured him of his support in other initiatives in future. He also noted that NLC is an important partner in the project as the agency in charge of land matters in the country. He applauded the effort of the team in putting together the project ideas and assured them of his full support to ensure that the project is successful. He added that riparian areas are under threat from development and the government is keen to protect these zones. Therefore this project is timely and will contribute towards informing the status of riparian zones and enforcement actions by NEMA. 

The Director-General RCMRD, Dr.Emmanuel Nkurunziza pledged his support for the project and his institution will support this initiative and look forward to future engagements. Mr. Ben Opaa noted that NLC is a key player in defining and zoning of the riparian areas as outlined in the Public Land Act. He added that the NLC has a role to play in the demarcation of resources in the public land and also mapping targeted areas. As the agency charged with the responsibility of drafting policies on land, NLC will provide all relevant information, maps and support needed in the to ensure the success of the project. Mr.Ngatia from NRF commended NEMA, NLC and RCMRD for submitting a good proposal and hence the award. 

He noted that the 8M award is not a very large amount as some of the proposals get up to 20M, however, encouraged the team to work hard and deliver on their objectives because there will be an opportunity for additional funding based on deliverables. He also notified the participants that there were other opportunities in the NRF and urged stakeholders to go for them.

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{By Carol Muriuki-NEMA’s Wetlands Officer}

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