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Nairobi’s construction costs topped other global cities including Beijing, Shangai, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai/FILE


Kenya marks World Habitat Day amid calls to green cities

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 5 – Kenya on Monday marked World Habitat Day amid renewed calls to green rapidly growing cities and towns through improved waste management and low carbon mobility.

Officials said the government had partnered with the private sector to implement an ambitious roadmap for greening urban landscapes and improving health and economic outcomes for residents.

James Macharia, cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, said that greening the country’s cities is at the heart of response to the climate crisis.

“We are engaging municipalities and local governments to promote greening of cities and ensure they are part of efforts to lower carbon emissions,” Macharia remarked at the tourist resort town of Naivasha where an event to mark World Habitat Day took place.

He said that regenerating urban green spaces, enacting policy and regulatory reforms to boost uptake of renewable energy and zero emissions mobility is on course to enhance climate resilience for local communities.

Macharia said the 2021 World Habitat Day whose theme is “accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world” aligns with Kenya’s commitment to a climate resilient future through greening strategic economic sectors like agriculture, transport, manufacturing and construction.

He said the government had enacted regulations to facilitate green housing in cities besides encouraging investments in a circular economy that guarantees improved air, water quality for the urban population.

Keriako Tobiko, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said that expanding tree cover in cities, promoting waste recycling and reuse, revamping drainage systems is key to strengthening response to extreme weather events that had taken a toll on urban centers.

According to Tobiko, Kenya had rolled out fiscal incentives to boost uptake of renewable energy among households and industrial premises in urban centers and accelerate low carbon development.

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He said that strengthening climate resilience for cities through regenerating degraded landscapes and adoption of green building technologies will help shield communities from floods and communicable diseases.

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