Thursday 10th June 2021, NECC were honoured to have Prof. Fred Segor, PS. State for Wildlife in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife as the Chief Guest for a tree planting exercise held at Kibirong Wetland, Aldai Sub-county in Nandi County where 5000 tree seedlings were planted.
The Chief Guest officiated the exercise by planting Bischofia javanica tree.
Speaking during the exercise, the PS said forests need to be protected because they contribute immensely to economic development and the country’s livelihoods by supporting diverse economic sectors, which include agriculture, tourism, and wildlife.
The PS noted in so conserving the environment there will be increase of food and water for wildlife that will in turn attract tourists to Kenya increasing revenue to the government. He emphasized this is important because 80% of the foreigners visit Kenya to see Wildlife.
The PS promised that his Ministry will work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to make Nandi County a tourist attraction destination by reclaiming, conserving and protecting the existing Wetlands in the County as they are home to Sitatunga Antelopes.
The PS reiterate that catchment areas are of great importance and it’s our collective responsibility to protect them for our own sake and for posterity.
The PS noted that environmental degradation due to unsustainable human activities result in soil erosion, siltation of Lakes and Rivers, landslides, food and water scarcity, deforestation and human wildlife conflicts.
The PS further said conserving the Kibirong Wetland which is the source of Yala and Nyando is boosting the standards of livelihood not only in Nandi County, but also in the entire Country and the World at large.
Also speaking during the event, the NECC Secretary Dr. John Chumo noted that to attain the 10% forest cover by 2022, partnerships with both state and non-state actors are key, especially through tree planting initiatives that aim to spur a tree growing culture among communities.
The Committee Secretary said that the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and other agencies has firmed up the national tree planting and growing campaigns with a passionate appeal to Kenyans to restore the landscape that has been degraded most of them being the Wetlands.
Dr. John Chumo gave a stern warning to those that have encroached on the Wetlands and told them to move out soonest time possible to allow restoration of the areas.
The Committee Secretary said unsustainable sand harvesting has been a major complaint NECC has received from Nandi County and the committee has investigated, and given findings and recommendations thereof to the relevant stakeholders however the complaint seems to be recurring.
He added that NEMA should ensure strict enforcement of the law to stop unsustainable sand harvesting and the County Government should explore and provide alternative sources of livelihood to area residents to prevent over-reliance on the activity.
NECC also donated upto a capacity of 5000 litters tank of water to Kibirong Koyo Wetland Management Group for tree seedlings production.
Also in attendance were; Nandi County Commissioner Ms. Geoffrey Omonding, DCC Mr. Tanui, ACC Mr. Elijah Chiwe, Ms. Isabella Msdinde – Committee member NECC, Director Tourism Mr. Nelson Koros, Aldai Sub-county Administrator Mr. Barnabas Talam, KFS Ecosystem Conservator, KEFRI representative Mr. Richard Siko, Kitwek FM Deputy Head of Station Ms. Winnie Cherono, KMTC Kipturus Campus, KTDA Director, South East Nandi Mr. Masai, Nandi County Environment Officer Mr. James Kurgat, GreenBelt Movement Mr. Edwin Ngunjiri amongst others.