Kenya PM issues new forest warning

August 13, 2009 12:00 am

, MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 13 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has put the perpetrators of excision in the five water towers on notice and reiterated the government’s determination to restore the depleted eco system at all cost.

He warned on Thursday that punitive measures were likely to be taken against those opposing government efforts to rehabilitate the conservancy zones as majority of prominent personalities fuelling the propaganda were the beneficiaries of the excision.

The premier informed show goers during this Year’s Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) show in Mombasa that wanton destruction of forest cover within the water towers could degenerate into desertification of arable land.

“We are just trying to clean up the mess which some of those very critical of conservation efforts committed to save the nation from a looming catastrophe for the posterity of our future generation," he maintained.

Mr Odinga said the current generation had the obligation to safeguard the interest of the future society and decried that the impact of the devastation at the Mau forest complex had started taking a toll on wild animals in adjacent national reserves.

“Our national parks have been adversely affected and we have learnt that even crocodiles and hippos have reportedly succumbed to the ravages of environmental degradation at Abardares, Mt. Kenya, Cherangani, Mt. Elgon and Mau complex” he said.

He said most water levels in most rivers from the water catchment area had drastically dropped in recent times due to encroachment of human settlements and farming activities in areas gazetted under the conservancy zones.

The Premier attributed the failure of adequate rainfall in the country over the last four years to destructive habits in the catchment zones in the wake of global warming.

He announced government plans to propagate a shift in farming practices from reliance on rain fed to commercial irrigation ventures to counter the perennial crop failure due to erratic rainfall patterns.

Mr Odinga made known that a pilot project which may later be rolled out in most parts of the country would be launched next week at the revived Bura irrigation scheme where at least 40,000 acres of land was reclaimed under the new initiative.

“We must take caution not to avert the occurrence of adverse weather phenomena like the La Nina and El Nino and whoever opposes efforts to avert such catastrophes is an enemy of the People of Kenya” the Premier said.

He assured that the Cabinet had deliberated on ways of containing the current food crisis facing the more than 10 million people in the country but commended coastal residents for embracing new farming techniques during the last planting season.


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