Exploitation of natural resources in Nyandarua has continually endangered sustenance of the County’s rich biodiversity, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has warned.
Marking World Environment Day celebrations at the JM Kariuki Memorial Hospital in Ol’Kalou this afternoon, the Governor said only sustainable management of natural resources and tackling effects of climate change will ensure continued benefits for better livelihoods.
“Diversification of on-farm sources of livelihoods has direct benefits in protection and conservation of biodiversity,” he noted.
Already, the Governor has supported successful piloting of a unique project on an inventory of trees on farms and development of business model for the Tree Growers Association of Nyandarua (TGAN), involving the Farm and Forest Facility (FFF) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Farm Forest Smallholders Producer Association of Kenya (FFSPAK).
His administration is also in the process of developing legislation and strengthening institutions to support sustainable use and governance of resources for current and future generations.
In 2018, the Governor launched the planting of 10 million trees within five years across Nyandarua, resulting in the planting of over three million trees over the past two years by the County Government and its partners.
To accelerate achievement of the targets, his administration is implementing the Adopt and Nurture a Tree (ANAT) Programme, with the aim of planting two million trees every year.
“In this Financial Year, my administration and its partners have planted 800,000 trees. Seedlings are being planted in public places, hospitals, dispensaries, and education institutions as demonstrated today in this hospital,” he said.
This rainy season, trees have been planted at Gatimu Health Center; Kasuku Health Center; Chamuka Dispensary; Nyairoko Health Center; Maina and Mwangi Dispensary; Rurii; Kaimbaga Health Center; Ndemi Health Center; Njabini Health Center; Baari Health Center; Decentralized Treatment Facility (DTF); Wangui Primary; Kiandege and Karai Dams; as well as the Water Office Compound.
By next week, Manunga Health Center, Manunga Health Center and Engineer Hospital will have also been covered.
Nyandarua is endowed with several habitats and natural resources, including mountain ranges, hills, rivers, swamps and streams which are rich in biodiversity.
With the support of partners, Governor Kimemia further announced that his administration is in the processes of gazzetting Lake Ol’Bollosat so as to protect and restore it.
The lake has bio deposits, an environmentally friendly bio fertilizer which can be extracted sustainably and used to enhance agricultural productivity while enriching the quality of our soils.
An important wetland, international bird area with over 180 species of birds and home to over 800 hippopotamus and other aquatic life forms, the lake is also the only major water body in Central Kenya.
The theme for this year’s celebrations was “Biodiversity for Sustainable Livelihoods,” under the slogan, “Protect, Restore and Conserve.”
The County head was accompanied by County Executive Committee Members Hon. Milka Wanjiru (Water, Environment, Tourism and Natural Resources) Hon. Anne Gathigia (Public Administration, Enforcement and Information Communication Technology) and Hon. (Dr.) James Mungai (Health Services).
Also present were Chief Officers Mr. Martin Kabubii (Water, Climate Change and Environment), Ms. Mary Gathegu (Tourism and Natural Resources) and Mr. Isaac Waithaka (Youth, Sports and the Arts), alongside Chief of Staff Mr. Charles Wachira.
In attendance were specially elected Members of the County Assembly Hon. Jane Nyambura (Wanjohi Ward) and Hon. Salome Gathoni (Magumu Ward), in addition to Ms. Evelyn Kimathi, daughter of freedom fighter Mama Mukami Kimathi.