County Government of Kisumu, through the directorate of Environment, and Natural Resources today signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Biogas International Limited on waste management, recycling and environmental conservation.
The collaboration underscores the parties shared efforts to pilot an integrated model on solid waste management, recycling and environmental protection within Ahero market, which if successful will be replicated across all the sub counties within Kisumu.
Ahero is a growing town with constant waste generation that has become a source of pollution to the environment. Waste generated per day is about 1.5 to 2 tons out of which 80% is organic while about 10% being non-biodegradable which makes it suitable for the pilot program.
The MOU further seeks to leverage a comparative advantage to support lucrative and sustainable entrepreneurship in the line of value addition among the youths, through effective use of waste as a resource to make products such as fertilizers, biogas from organic waste and makiga interlocking bricks from non-biodegradable wastes for economic growth and for job creation.
The Signing of the MOU took place with a nod from Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o presided over by the County Secretary Mr. Godffrey Kegochi, CEC Member for Water, Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Salmon Orimba, CEC Member for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Mr. Dixon Obungu and the CEO Biogas International Limited Mr. Dominic Kahumba.
Witnessed by: The area MCA Hon. Ken Ooko, Sub county Administrator for Nyando Dr. Samuel Oron, Ahero Ward Administrator, George Amimo, Chief Officer Lands, Housing and Urban Development Mr. Geofrey Ochieng, Chief Officer Environment and Natural Resources, Maryline Agwa, Director Environment, Mr. Ken Koyooh, and Director Climate Change, Mr. Evans Gichana among other invited guests.
By Emily Mikwa
The County Government of Kisumu has committed to plant 40 million tree seedlings to help achieve the national afforestation agenda of planting at least 2 billion trees by 2022.
In partnership with the National Government and several other state and non- state actors, the PS for Environment and Forestry Dr. Chris Kiptoo alongside Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o earlier today presided over a tree planting exercise along River Nyando in Muhoroni before proceeding to launch the 150,000 Tree Seedling Production and Afforestation Center at Menara in Muhoroni Sub County.
The Menara Center with over 1,600 assorted tree seedlings is part of the County’s efforts to raise the forest cover within its area.
Kenya needs to plant at least 2 billion tree seedlings by 2022 in a bid to increase its forest cover. President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive that the country has the 10 per cent forest cover achieved by 2022 as opposed to the earlier vision by 2030. The national forest cover currently stands at 7.2% covering 4.2 million hectares having grown from 6.99% 12 years ago.
In that regard, the county has since intensified its efforts to increase the forest cover from the current 0.44 per cent to the recommended 10 per cent. The department of environment has embarked on an aggressive tree planting campaign having set up tree seedling nurseries at Menara in Muhoroni, Pap Kadundo in Seme, Ogoro in Nyakach and Show Ground in Kisumu East Sub Counties.
Speaking at the launch, PS Kiptoo praised the Governor in his efforts to reclaim public spaces. Already, the County has reclaimed Songo, Koru, Nyatigo, Kisian and Kajulu hills already earmarked for restoration.
The PS also assured the county of his support in delivering the afforestation agenda. He noted that Kisumu was the first county to sign to the County Transition Implementation Plan – a Policy framework of up-taking services that were hitherto run by national government through the ministry of environment; a factor that has led to Kisumu being picked as the pilot county for the national Tree Planting Campaign in the region.
“we are going to work with you to fast track the gazzetment of the forests and hills you have earmarked for reforestation”, said the PS
He confirmed that the 2 billion seedlings will be shared by all counties with Kisumu taking up at least 40 million seedlings. To help achieve this target, the national government through Kenya Forestry Research Institute will give the county 1.5 metric tonnes of assorted tree seeds.
The achievement of the 10% forest cover is so critical that a county multi agency committee has been formed to drive its delivery. The County Environment Committee shall be co-chaired by the Governor and the County Commissioner.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o on his part said that the county has so far established more than four tree nurseries within its sub counties to help boost afforestation.
“I do hope that this will help boost our forest cover from the current 2 per cent to 10 per cent”. He said
The Governor indicated that the county targets to produce about 500,000 tree seedlings annually from the four tree nurseries established across the county.
He called upon residents to take afforestation more seriously than ever before by allocating parts of their farms to tree growing even as he encouraged them to develop the habit of planting trees in between gardens.
In addition, the Governor says they are working closely with KFS in enhancing afforestation of the 400 hectares Koguta Forest in Nyakach and the 25 hectares Karateng Forest in Kisumu West Sub County.
At the same time, he challenged other counties to work closely with the National Government in order to achieve the national vision for afforestation.
“We in the counties need to work with the National Government in most of these things.
The County CEC in charge of Water and Environment Hon. Salmon Orimba appreciated the role played by partners that have supported the county in its sustainability journey.
He says the county intends to rollout a massive tree planting programme in the schools, forests and public spaces with a target of over 200,000 trees to be planted this season.
He urged community-based organizations to actively engage activities relating to environmental conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation so as to be ready to take part in the upcoming programme.
Forests are vital natural carbon sinks and play a great part in a country’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The exercise brought together participants both state and non-state agencies including Kenya Forest Service, NETFUND, Kenya Water Towers, NEMA, KEFRI, Agro hemicals, Muhoroni and Chemelil Sugar, Kibos Sugar among other Non – State Organizations.
By: Nancy Juma
Established Tree nursery at Pap Kadundo Biotechnology center in Seme Sub-county ( Picture by David Wadulo)
The Kisumu county government recognizes the increased threat of extreme weather and how climate change impacts on the county’s economic and social development.
Just like other parts of the country, Kisumu is facing the vagaries of weather, brought about by Climate change.
Flooding has displaced thousands of people. Rivers are breaking their banks and the water levels on Lake Victoria have risen to an all-time high, destroying investments and affecting fishing activities.
To help mitigate this, it has set up a directorate to deal with climate change. Through this directorate, the county government has set out an ambitious plan to transform Kisumu into a climate-resilient, low-carbon society that is sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive. According to the directorate led by Mr. Evans Gichana, emergency climate change requires adequate and immediate action to mitigate the environmental changes in terms of where we live, how we grow food and other services vital to the well-being.
The devastating effects of climate change, from long periods of drought, more frequent floods, duration, and intensity of rains, are being felt in Kisumu with an intensity that underscores the immediate need for concerted efforts. This indicated a tangible sign that the global climate is changing fast because of human activities.
As the county directorate of climate change, supporting residents in raising their climate efforts to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts. This is an important step to empower the County to respond to the challenge of climate change, in line with county and national priorities and plans.
By playing a leading role in sensitization and capacity building on the new investment opportunities that reduce deforestation and forest degradation. The directorate through its stakeholders is set to establish and equip biotechnology centers in all sub-counties in Kisumu, with a model biotechnology center established in Seme as plans are underway to ope rationalize by equipping and staffing the center in the second phase of the project.
The biotechnology center will be used to facilitate acceleration and promotion of the development of renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency as part of the sustainable energy for all initiative and climate mitigation efforts by the county government of Kisumu.
Kisumu is widely considered one of the most vulnerable counties in Kenya in terms of the impacts of climate change. More intense and frequent floods and droughts have often caused immense loss of life and damage to infrastructure, food security and put its renowned biodiversity and natural resources under increasing pressure.
Compared to many other counties, Kisumu is currently much less prepared to respond to the challenges of global warming especially in investments in climate-friendly actions towards increasing resilience to a recurrent climate- environmental threats.
Since the formation of the directorate over the past few years, Kisumu County climate change directorate has been involved in a project to help integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation into county’s policies designed to raise awareness about climate change impacts, build capacity among the county executive and the county assembly to address the impacts of climate change and develop and implement local approaches to identifying and addressing climate change vulnerabilities across the county.
According to the directorate, mainstreaming climate change into the county policy development and reform agenda has not been an easy task given that the program was established during a transition in governance in Kisumu, says County climate change experts. “Implementation had to be able to navigate the changing landscape of governance as a new administration is being developed.”
The achievements of the directorate to date include:
The establishment of an institutional structure to coordinate action on climate change at the county and national level in the form of the Technical Working Group.
Awareness-raising on the importance of incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation considerations into day-to-day processes of governance and also improving local action to improve resilience to climate change and disasters.
Development of a climate change strategy and policy framework. The project also contributed to the formulation of intended county determined contributions.
The fostering of a group of “champions” for climate change with a greater professional and technical understanding of climate change and its impacts on sectors relevant to Kisumu’s economy.
The mainstreaming of climate change into sectors including urban planning, agriculture, education and natural resources’ development.
Initiating tree planting in-school programs to educate and promote the importance of trees in mitigating carbon emission.
In partnership with the private sector and non-governmental organizations, the climate change directorate has mainstreamed capacity development and training communities and institutions on climate-smart projects and opportunities including flood and drought mitigation strategies.
Meanwhile, the directorate has also stressed the importance of encouraging the community to adopt climate change education to ensure concrete actions for a sustainable future.
The people’s understanding of what climate change is and how to act upon it is central to enacting political regulations financial and technological incentives related to climate change in the region.
By Matilda Atieno
The County Government of Kisumu in partnership with the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority this afternoon held a Leaders Consultative Forum with the County leadership ahead of the construction of the Koru – Soin dam.
The discussions were geared towards providing a better roadmap for the successful implementation of the Ksh. 25 billion project.
The Koru Soin Dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project expected to serve at least 1.7 million residents of Kisumu and Kericho counties running from the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin, Kericho county.
Already, the government has set aside Ksh. 5 billion for the commencement of construction with another 15 billion awaiting National Treasury’s approval in the October 2020 Supplementary budget. At least Ksh. 2 billion will be used towards compensation of project affected persons to acquire the 2500 acres needed for the construction. These include 206 parcels of land from the Kisumu side with Kericho County expected to part with 110 parcels.
The realization of this dam is expected to alleviate the impacts of floods in the lower reaches of river Nyando and provide additional portable water supply of approximately 71,279m3/day. The economic impacts will also be enormous with the project employing at least 1,500 locals as well as availing enough water for irrigation and institutional use that will enhance food security and other infrastructural developments like hydro power generation.
The authority plans to have water gravitate from the hills to the treatment plants downstream into storage tanks at different locations to boost the distribution especially in Muhoroni, Chemelil, Awasi, Ahero, Miwani, Rabuor, and Kibos. Kibos will have a booster tank distributing water to Riat hills and finally Maseno back to Kisumu.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili who spoke on behalf of the Governor reiterated the County’s commitment to ensure that the project is fully implemented owing to the benefits that will accrue upon its completion. The project, he said will help bring a permanent solution to the perennial flooding along the Nyando Basin that has continuously led to destruction of lives and property.
He assured the leaders of the County’s total support by ensuring that all stakeholders are brought on board to deliver the project.
He extended a message of appreciation to H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga for their role in spearheading infrastructural developments around the region especially Kisumu.
The Chairman of the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority Erick Okeyo reported that the procurement process is at evaluation stage and conclude in a month’s time upon which they shall hand over the site to the contractor.
On the issue of land acquisition and compensation of project affected persons, the Chairman said that the National Land commission is already in custody of Ksh. 400 million to kick start the process thus allaying fears of many residents. He NLC is expected to carry out fresh valuation in order to ensure the affected persons are compensated in good time.
Joining the DG was the County CEC in charge of Water and Environment Hon. Salmon Orimba who shared with the team the County’s wish list. He requested the authority to consider having additional water storage tanks in more areas such as Nyakach Sub County like Katito, additional booster tank at Mamboleo and Maseno to supply Riat, Kisumu West and Seme sub counties and finally another tank in Kabonyo Kanyagwal to serve both Kabonyo and Kobura wards. This he said will help increase water supply within the county which now stands at 18,000m3/day against a demand of 66,000m3/day
On the irrigation component, the CEC requested the authority to direct the irrigation channel to cover up to Kisumu East in Kolwa East to increase the area under irrigation. The authority had proposed to increase area under irrigation schemes in Ahero and West Kano by 2,500 Ha and power generation by 2.5 MW.
Other leaders present were; Muhoroni MP Hon. Onyango Koyoo, counterparts from (Nyando) Hon Jared Okello and (Seme) Dr. James Nyikal, County Commissioner Madam Susan Waweru, MCAs and other County and National Government officials.
By Nancy Juma
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili this morning received a delegation from the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority on behalf of the Governor who were in the county to brief the County Leadership on the progress and the roadmap of the implementation of the much-awaited Koru – Soin Multipurpose Dam.
Led by the Authority Chairman Mr. Erick Okeyo, the team comprising of Board Members, the CEO and other high-ranking officials discussed an array of issues related to the project including challenges experienced so far.
The Koru Soin Dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project expected to serve Kisumu and Kericho counties running from the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin, Kericho county.
The dam which is estimated at Kshs. 25 billion has components such as gradient irrigation, supply of portable water and generation of hydo power.
Already, the national treasury has allocated Kshs. 5 billion to commence the construction with another 15 billion awaiting National Treasury’s approval in the Supplementary Budget come October, 2020. At least 2 billion shillings will go towards compensation of affected persons with the remaining 18 billion going towards dam and water supply components.
The realization of this Dam expected to be completed in 5 years will ease the people of Kisumu and Kericho greatly especially those along the Nyando Basin who have continuously suffered from the perennial floods. In addition, it is expected to provide additional portable water supply of 71,279m3/day serving more than 1.7 million residents.
The economic impacts of this project will be enormous as the people will also have enough water for irrigation and institutional use that will ensure improved food security and other infrastructural developments such as power.
As he delivered the Governor’s message to the press, the Deputy Governor highlighted that the dam which was conceived even before Kenya’s independence will provide a lasting solution to the perennial flooding that has continued to cause unending suffering to the people of Kisumu. He noted that the effects have been so devastating resulting into massive destruction of crops and livestock amounting to 3 billion shillings in this year alone.
Dr. Owili assured the NWHSA team of the County’s commitment to partner with the Authority to ensure that the project is delivered on time. He also mentioned that the County, through the Department of Water, Irrigation and Environment under the leadership of the Minister Salmon Orimba has actively and continuously engaged the project affected persons within the proposed site in a number of forums regarding the dam construction especially on issues related to the actual area the dam will occupy, the affected population and more importantly compensation of affected persons.
The dam will be constructed on approximately 2,500 acres of land affecting a total of 316 parcels; 110 parcels in Kericho County and 206 parcels in Kisumu County.
The Chairman assured the people of Kisumu that the project will kick off as anticipated once the procurement process is completed by end of July, 2020 with the site handing over to the contractor expected at the beginning August this year.
He pleaded with the political class to avoid politicizing the project but instead support it to enable residents reap from it. He expressed concerns that due to the persistent flooding, Kisumu has been reduced to a “food relief” reliant county, a situation that must be addressed with finality.
The Speaker on his part assured the team that the Assembly will provide them with all the necessary support even as they implement the project.
The delegation also made a donation of water tanks, sanitizers, face masks, soap and umbrellas to support the Covid -19 situation.
Joining the DG for the briefing were County Assembly Speaker Hon. Elisha Oraro, County Ministers of Water, Irrigation and Environment Salmon Orimba, Tourism, Culture and Sports Madam Archie Alai, and County Secretary Godfrey Kigochi among other County Officials.
Mr. Okeyo was accompanied by Board Members Walibengo Waningilo Jane Mwikali and CEO Sharon Obonyo among other officials.
By Collins Owuor
Sand harvesting and murram excavation has today been banned in Kanyakwar, along the roads, electricity poles and pipelines as Sand harvesters will now be required to secure licenses and operate within the designated areas sited by the environmental sub –committee.
In addition, sand transporters will be required to apply for temporary or annual permit to operate and companies will register with County department of environment.
While briefing the media on the resolutions made during the meeting, Mr. Tom Togo the Director NEMA who is also the secretary of the sub – committee, put on notice those who will be found violating the regulations that they will suffer a penalty ranging from Ksh 1- 4 million fine, or up to one-year sentence or both.
This was resolved in a meeting held on Wednesday this week, chaired by the CEC for Environment, water and Natural Resources, Mr. Salmon Orimba, the sub- committee members came up with resolutions that will regulate sand harvesting exercise following the notice served to the harvesters before the ban.
The county environmental sub- committee under the umbrella of Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) 2015, is an inter- multi agency that has embarked on reducing environmental degradation due to rampant sand harvesting and murram excavation.
The Committee which was inaugurated last year by the Governor comprises of County departments of Environment, Agriculture, Housing and physical planning, National Government agencies including the County Commissioner, Kenya Marine, Water resource committee, Kenya Forest, Nema, among others.
He was flanked by the County Chief Officer Environment, Maryline Agwa, Chief Officer Lands Housing and Physical Planning Mr. George Ochieng, Director Conservation and Stewardship Mr. Ken Koyoo, Assistant County Commissioner Rose Nyakwara among other county environment officers.