Kenya Commemorates World Environment Day

By John Kariuki

The national World Environment Day 2022 commemoration was held yesterday at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri County.

The theme for this year’s event was, “Only One Earth,” and slogan, ” Together We Can Protect It.” The theme was a rallying call to the people to protect the planet from effects of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

The event was led by the Secretary Administration in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Joel Kitili on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko. The CS noted that the country has taken steps to counter the triple effects of pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change.

“We need to stand up for our only home.  We are running against the clock, we need to act now. Since we are the ones who have created the problems, we need to provide solutions to save our mother Earth,” NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo stated.

NEMA has enacted various regulations to protect the environment in the country. In 2021 alone, the Authority did over 2306 inspections across the country. The inspections ranges from Effluent Discharges License, plastic bags ban, Environmental Impact Assessment as well as environmental audits.

“The tripple threats to environment of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution continue to ravage the world causing a threat to the human existence. We need to urgently protect the planet,” NEMA Acting Chairperson, Dr. Lul Abdiwahid noted.

She added that recently NEMA was awarded as the Africa’s Environmental Regulator of the year in Ghana. This was towards the Authority’s effort in the ban of plastic bags back in 2017. As a result, the country has prvided a learning point to various countries in the region. Kenya is looked upon by many African Countries to offer guidance as well benchmarking on matters plastic pollution control.

Most Rev. Anthony Muheria, Catholic Archbishop, Nyeri Diocese stated that it is a religious duty to protect the environment as we are the stewards of the Earth. He added that it should be everyone responsibility to correct what is going wrong within our environment.

The Nyeri Governor, H.E Mutahi Kahiga was represented by the CEC for Environment and Climate Change, Kinyua Wanjohi. He noted that the County boost of its various initiatives it has put in place to protect the environment such as cleanups, tree planting and growing as well as protection of natural resources.

During the event,  2,030 indigenous tree seedlings were planted to mark the commemoration. A further 17, 000 was donated to the University to be planted at Tanyai Forest block in Muringato forest station through the adopt a forest initiative.

According to the National Forest Resources Assessment Report 2021, Nyeri County leads with a tree cover of 45.17% and a forest cover of 40.89 %.

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