ENVIRONMENT: Kerio River Ecosystem Cooperation broadens

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok appending his signature at a Lodwar Hotel as the county joins Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot in protecting Kerio River Ecosystem. PHOTO/Benson Kelio.

Turkana County has joined the Kerio River Ecosystem Climate Change Cooperation agreement.

It follows Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at a hotel in Lodwar recently, Turkana governor Josphat Nanok stated that the river, which traverses the four counties, is an important natural resource which is a source of livelihoods to many communities in the North Rift region.

Nanok said that his county joined the deal because the river needs to be safeguarded since it is an ecological structure and of economic value to the four counties.

“It is a river that supports human lives, livestock, plants, wildlife and even the air we breathe thus it should be given the seriousness it deserves because if it is not well safeguarded natural calamities such as drought, flush floods and desertification might hit us hard,” he said.

The Turkana county boss added that through the agreement the counties can now form a formidable partnership which can bring about developing policies and programmes aimed at conserving the Kerio River ecosystem.

North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) Chief Executive Officer Dominic Biwott thanked Turkana for joining the agreement saying that the county covers three quarters of the entire 350 kilometers Kerio River stretch.

“We can now generate the conservation policies and protect this great river because we are now a full house,” he said.

Biwott said that the river was important because it provides water for both domestic and animal use since the main economic livelihoods of the neighbouring communities was livestock farming.

Baringo deputy governor Jacob Chepkwony in his remarks expressed the need for environmental conservation in a time when the county and beyond is faced with adverse effects of climate change.

Chepkwony highlighted some scenarios like the unpredictable rain patterns, flooding and the rising of water levels across some of the lakes in the region.

He expressed the need to safeguard natural habitats such as Cherangany forest, Tugen hills, Elgeyo escapement, Chemususu forest, Turkana hills and Eastern Mau forest which are the source of river Kerio adding that if they are not properly protected can see the river drying up therefore affecting the four counties.

The National council of churches of Kenya (NCCK) that developed the agreement in partnership with NOREB welcomed the signing saying that it was a landmark event and the first ecosystem based climate change governance cooperation agreement in Kenya.

Through a press release, the General Secretary Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui said that the ecosystem will synergize climate change related laws and facilitate intra and inter-county public participation forums, platforms and conferences.

Rev. Kinyanjui stated that the four counties will establish climate change response committees at the county, Sub-county and ward levels, and will allocate 2 percent of their development budgets to climate change interventions.

Previous articleParents neglecting their children put on notice
Next articleMan on mission for healthy generation


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.