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Environment CS Soipan Tuya puts land grabbers on notice

February 6th, 2024 2 min read

Individuals who have encroached wetlands have been ordered to surrender title deeds or face eviction, Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has said.

The CS warned that for the last five decades, the wetlands, that account for about four per cent of the country’s land surface, were facing threat from human activities and demanded that those who have encroached wetland to surrender titles.

“We find that people are holding titles right to the river banks and I am yet to find someone to come and face me and tell me that they own a genuine title right in the river banks. I want to invite those Kenyans who have titles right in the river banks to return them because if you don’t we are going to revoke them,” said the CS when she presided over the World Wetlands day celebrations at Lake Narasha in Timboroa, border between Uasin Gishu and Baringo counties.

CS Tuya said that this year’s theme, “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing”, aligns with the government’s 10-year National Landscapes and Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, the anchor framework for the 15 billion National Growing Programme.

She used the event to rally Kenyans across the country to support the initiative to meet the 15 billion trees target by 2032 to combat the effects of climate change.

“I am appealing to all Kenyans to help us to plant. If we are to meet this target then each of 50 million Kenyans need to plant at least 300 trees every year. . .. let us all take responsibility. We also encourage plant species such as bamboo that support the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems and landscape such as wetlands,” stated the CS.

The CS also disclosed they are working to develop the Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) Programme through a 5-year, 297 million US Dollar World Bank-financed initiative to combat climate change.

“Counties have received the first tranche Sh7.3 billion FLLoCA funds to support climate action in Counties. We are finalizing talks with the council of governors to have 20 percent of these funds utilized to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems such as wetlands,” explained CS Tuya as she appealed to members of parliament to also provide 5 percent of CDF funds to support climate mitigation initiatives.

Leaders who accompanied the CS included Uasin Gishu County governor Jonathan Bii, Senator Jackson Mandago and host of MPs; Julius Rutto (Kesses), Musa SIrma (Eldama Ravine).

Nema director general Mamo Boru Mamo disclosed that they have mapped more 10,000 wetlands in the country as they embark on their rehabilitation.

“We working to restore wetlands and we have availed resources to support this initiative. We will continue to monitor all wetlands to ensure that they are not polluted and are protected,” stated the official.

CS Tuya tasked technical staff in her ministry to undertake study on the quality of the water of the Laka Narasha, also known as Timboroa Dam following reported oil spillage in 1990s.

“Its decline over the years due to human activities has led to a reduction in its ecological and socioeconomic benefits. I am informed that Lake Narasha is one of Kenya’s key bird sanctuaries but the population and species of birds has reduced significantly over the years due to its shrinkage and pollution of its water,” said the CS.

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