Marsabit is the largest County in Kenya covering an estimated size of 66.9 square kilometres. Managing the county requires a concerted effort due to the sparse population and the vast land it covers. Despite presence of a NEMA office in Marsabit town, the Authority established a border point office in Moyale on 11th September 2020.
The office will support the environmental actions undertaken by NEMA County office in Marsabit County and Headquarters in Nairobi due to the vast nature of the County.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, NEMA Chairman, John Konchellah stated that the office will help in stopping smuggling of plastic bags from Ethiopia where they are still widely used. The office will also undertake other functions including waste management, environmental audits and inspections of facilities to facilitate compliance to environmental laws.
Taking stock of trees planted
Last year in October, NEMA launched a campaign to plant 1 million trees in Marsabit County. During the visit, the board planted a total of 9,200 were planted in Badasa forest and Tiigo primary school. The board went back to take stock of the trees planted during the period. To the amusement of the board, 99 percent of the trees planted in the school and the forest survived.
The Authority has adopted Tiigo primary school located in Chalbi desert to change its ecological status. The Authority also honoured the pledges made last year to donate two-ten thousand litres tanks to help in watering as well as for consumption. The school also received branded waste bins to assist the school in management solid waste.
Warning against discharging to environment
The Authority also warned hotels in Isiolo discharging untreated effluent to the environment that they will be closed if they don’t apply for the Effluent Discharge Licenses and adhere to the conditions therein. This follows complains from locals that hotels within Isiolo towns were discharging waste into the environment and water bodies.
Mr. Konchellah stated that individuals and firms still using, importing and manufacturing the banned plastic bags that they will be apprehended.
Sand harvesting is a big problem in Isiolo County and has led to massive degradation in the vast lands especially during the rainy seasons. For this reason, any sand harvester were ordered to get the necessary approvals before undertaking in any of such activity. Mr. Konchellah said this during the courtesy call to the Isiolo County Commissioner, Herman Shambi where they also planted trees at the NEMA Isiolo green point.
The Clean-Up the World Day is a global environmental event that is commemorated every third weekend of September. It is a day that promotes community action as the key to long-term environmental change. The campaign welcomes involvement from all nations and participating organizations ranging from individual groups working independently within their local community, to national initiatives carried out by diverse groups. Local groups and organizations are supported to plan and conduct various activities to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment.
In addition to creating a platform for awareness creation on the need for a clean and healthy environment, Clean up the World weekend provides an opportunity for the whole World to come together in one weekend for a massive cleanup and fixing up of the environment. This rejuvenates public attention on global community concerns for the environment and how each individual can make a positive contribution to a cleaner and healthier world.
Clean up the World Day celebration seeks to:
Relevance of Event
The Clean-up The World Day focuses on the need to enhance sanitation and high standards of hygiene to ensure a clean and healthy environment. It is worth noting, that a large number of diseases are as a result of poor hygiene and a polluted environment. By maintaining a clean and healthy environment, it is possible to reduce the health budget of the country thereby giving room for funding of other activities. These diseases include bacterial, viral and protozoan diseases such as, typhoid, cholera, amoeba, schistomiasis, dysentery, retrovirus especially in children under 5year.
This year Clean up the World will be celebrated when the world is undergoing a health crisis in the name of COVID 19. The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge the world has faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia at the end of 2019, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica
More than a health crisis, the pandemic is also an unprecedented socio-economic crisis. It is also causing a huge environmental problem in the disposal of various protective materials being used to curb its spread.
The Authority will therefore take advantage of the clean up the World platform to create awareness on the best and most appropriate way of disposal for these materials. In addition to demonstrating safe ways of disposal, the Authority has developed guidelines to be used in the disposal of the materials and will therefore take this opportunity to create awareness on the guidelines as well as call on the public to follow the guidelines when disposing the protective materials.
In addition, the cleanup the world will also be promoting the newly rejuvenated keep Kenya clean campaign which was announced by the head of State on the 14th August while launching the Michuki memorial park. The program which will be implemented Country wide will be premiered in Nairobi County and will be overseen jointly by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and that of interior through the Chiefs. The program which is to start on 1st September fits in with the ongoing kazi mtaani is in a bid to set a common goal of cleaning Kenya and rehabilitating and better management of the environment.
THE 2020 COMEMORATIONS
This year, the clean up the world event will be commemorated within the Nairobi river basin. This is in an effort to celebrate the work that has gone into rehabilitating the Nairobi river as well create awareness on the work yet to be done to clean up and keep the river clean for the future.
Nairobi City’s watershed and drainage system is comprised of the Nairobi River and its tributaries. The main Nairobi River (which is also known as Nyong’ara at its formative stages) originates from Ondri Swamp in Kikuyu area, Kiambu County. Immediately after its source the river is joined by other tributaries that primarily originate from springs within the Nairobi Metropolitan such as Kirichwa Kubwa, Kirichwa Ndogo, Mathare River and Ngong River among others. The river and its upper tributaries therefore flow through Nairobi City, with all the City’s run-off and storm water draining into the Nairobi River System.
The Nairobi River System has been affected quite adversely by activities and developments in the city, with its riparian area being encroached by structural and agricultural developments and the river itself receiving high loads of solid and liquid wastes. This has led to serious pollution of the river and its downstream waters of River Athi into which it empties. Furthermore the depletion of the riverine environment has affected the integrity and flow characteristics of the river this critical formative stage.
The Authority has concentrated its inspection and enforcement activities along the Nairobi River and its tributaries upstream of Michuki Park. During the Authorities’ inspections, all illegal dumpsites found along the riparian had the waste collected by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services. These were sources of pollution to Nairobi River as the dumped waste found its way into the river.
By commemorating the event along the river basin, the event will refocus attention on the importance of sustaining the good work of rehabilitation and restoration of the Nairobi River. The event will also bring together diverse stakeholders with a common interest to deliberate on new and better ways of advancing the restoration work. This will aid in charting a way forward that is sustainable and workable.
International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies will be held on 7th September 2020. Please join us online at;: https://interprefy.interpret.
The Day aims to: Raise public awareness at all levels—individual, community, corporate and government—that clean air is important for health, productivity, the economy and the environment.
On 19 December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date, in 1987, on which the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed.
The theme this year is OZONE FOR LIFE - 35 YEARS OF OZONE LAYER PROTECTION
States are invited to devote the Day each year to promote, at the national level, activities in accordance with the objectives of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments.
In Kenya, the celebrations will be held at Michuki Park, Nairobi County
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiling the plaque to mark the launch of the John Michuki Memorial Park
The much awaited opening of the newest urban green zone – Hon John Michuki Memorial park took place on 14th August 2020 in a colorful ceremony presided over by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The event was a culmination of over three months of extensive rehabilitation works carried out by Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Forstry Research Institute (KEFRI), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) under the guidance of Cabient Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestrym, Keriako Tobiko and other stakeholders including the National Museums of Kenya and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
In his speech, the President noted that green spaces in the form of parks and arboretums were very important in the sustainable development of cities and well being of their residents.
The president announced a national cleanup campaign to boost the country’s environmental conservation efforts. He said the campaign which is set to kick off on September 1st is dubbed ‘Cleaning Up Kenya Campaign’ and shall be led by cadres of the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs).
“The Campaign shall be anchored on the National Government Administration Officers at the local level who shall work together with the local communities and with stakeholders both within and outside of Government to enhance environmental restoration, conservation and management,” the President said.
NEMA Board Members at Michuki Park during the launch
“Within the Cleaning Up Kenya Campaign, Chiefs are encouraged to proactively involve vulnerable members of their local communities and marginalized groups such as Women, Youth and Persons Living with Disabilities,” he said.
The Park is named in honour of the late former Minister John Michuki who a played a key role in the clean up of Nairobi River and its environ during his tenure as the Minister for Environment.
President Kenyatta pointed out that besides Michuki Park, the Government is working on renewing several other green spaces within the city among them the Nairobi Arboretum, Karura Forest, City Park and Ngong Road Forest.
“And we hope to extend this re-birth of our environment or what I call the ‘green renaissance’ to all Counties of the Republic,” President Kenyatta said. The President regretted mistakes of the past especially weak enforcement of environmental and sanitation that led to Nairobi losing its green city status.
“As Government, we did not enforce the civic responsibility of the citizen to take care of the green spaces. And the citizens of Nairobi city were not organized enough to protect it. Because of this, and the rapid growth of ‘concrete spaces’ over the ‘green spaces’, there was a collapse of civic order and national duty in the city,” he said.
CS Enviroment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko, Ellyanne Wanjiku, Youngest Climate Change Ambassador and NEMA Deputy Vice Chairperson, Peninah Aloo-Obudho at Michuki park during the launch
The Head of State said every Kenyan has a responsibility to conserve the environment and quoted from several books including the Bible, the Qu’aran and the Vedas to emphasize the importance of environmental conservation.
President Kenyatta said green spaces are the lungs that help cities to breath by improving on the quality of air and absorbing toxins emitted by the environment.
“And this is why we are targeting a 10% forest cover across the entire country by the year 2020. Within Nairobi, the Michuki Park is the first attempt at pushing this ‘green renaissance’," he said.
Other speakers were Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Major Gen. Mohammed Badi.
Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiangi (Interior) and Amina Mohamed (Sports) were among several senior government officials at the launch.
CS Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko watering a tree flanked by NEMA Chairman, John Konchellah (L) among other board members at Michuki Park during the launch
For the three months rehabilitation period of the park, NEMA was charged with the duty to cleanup Nairobi River from all illegal discharges and waste management within the park. The culprits have been apprehended and charged in court who have been found discharing untreated effluent into the river as well as encroaching into the riparian zones of Nairobi River. During the launch, the president acknowledged the efforts put in place by various Authorities including NEMa as the water was now cleaner.
The NEMA team was led by chairman, John Konchellah, Director General, Mamo Boru Mamo, board members- Prof. Peninah Aloo-Obudho, Hon. Halima Ware, Hon. Augustinho Neto, Teresia Malokwe, Prof. Bernabas Mitaru and Dr. Juma Ngeiywa
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