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The Ministry of Environment and Forestry led Kenya in marking World Wetlands Day on 2nd February at Enapuiyapui Swamp, Kiptunga Forest, Nakuru County. The global event was this year marked under the theme “Wetlands and Biodiversity”.
The three day event kicked off with a public baraza that saw the local community educated on the importance of preserving and conserving the wetland as it is the source of Molo, Njoro, Mara and Rongai rivers respectively. Day two included a tree planting exercise at Oloongoi, Mariashoni and Timdolel Primary Schools.
KEFRI in partnership with other state agencies namely NEMA, KFS, WWF, KWTA, ENSDA, Netfund, Nakuru and Narok counties joined hands with the Ogiek community to plant 1,000 indigenous bamboo seedlings around the wetland to mark the day. A further 1,200 bamboo seedlings were distributed among the local community for them to grow in their homesteads.
In his remarks Keriako Tobiko, CS Ministry of Environment and Forestry asked the government agencies present to lead by example by planting the correct tree species in the right areas. He pointed out that it was a travesty that the community had been misled to plant Eucalyptus and Cypress around the wetland thus hastening its degradation. He went on further to task KFS to ensure that all the Eucalyptus that had been planted around the wetland be cut down and the timber sold. The CS directed that the proceeds from the sales must be accounted for and used to purchase the correct indigenous seedlings for planting in the wetland.
The CS further directed that Enapuiyapui Swamp be gazetted locally and internationally as a RAMSA site in a bid to ensure it is kept safe from encroachment and degradation. The state agencies in attendance pledged to support the local community by donating bee hives to help grow their local bee keeping activities.
|CS Keriako Tobiko is joined by Dr. Joshua Cheboiwo, Director KEFRI and Dr. David Langat Regional Director Londiani in planting bamboo to mark World Wetlands Day.|
|Ogiek Womens group celebrating after they received bamboo seedlings for planting in their respective homes.|