North Rift Economic Bloc chair Jackson Mandago EGH, has called for a meaningful and collective responsibility in environmental conservation and mitigation of effects of climate change.
The Uasin Gishu Governor speaks after a long spell of drought and delayed rains which ate into the sowing season. The country realized one of the longest and ravaging dry spells this year, with deforestation taking the blame.
“This year we were faced with severe drought across the country and Kenyans complained and even reached for heavenly intervention… but we have an opportunity to first ensure that the environment we live in is healthy and is taken care of,” said Mandago.
“…before we ask God for help, we need to first appreciate that it is our responsibility to conserve the environment we live in by stopping activities like charcoal burning, cutting of trees, plowing to the river and other practices that have a negative impact to the surrounding we live in,” adds Mandago.
Mandago was speaking in Baringo when he graced the signing of Kerio River Ecosystem Inter County Climate Change Cooperation Agreement. Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties signed the agreement in an event organized by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and UKAid among other partners.
The Governor lauded the agreement: “The agreement we have signed is a beginning of the realization of counties and communities on taking care of the environment, which is the source of their livelihoods.”
“…and I want to thank the partners because the uniqueness of this agreement is in community involvement; with serious training of community leaders to ensure that the community appreciates that taking care of the resources is protecting their livelihood.”
Mandago reiterated that one of Noreb’s programs is conserving the environment as is fronted by the Eldoret City Marathon, whose pillar is planting of trees for improved forest cover and climate action.
“Most of Noreb catchment has the best grounds for horticulture. This region can produce every fruit for this country This, however, cannot be leveraged if environmental conservation is not taken seriously.,” said Mandago who was flanked by governors of Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo Alex Tolgos and Stanley Kiptis respectively.
Mandago also hinted out on a circular economy, a program that demands that every institution takes serious consideration on waste management.
This, the Governor says, involves reuse, recycle and converting it to energy. “This ensures that people do not leave the responsibility of environmental conservation to the government alone but also take up the challenge.”
Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet Governors praised the agreement, saying it fosters socio-economic growth by ensuring the water resource shared through the Kerio River Ecosystem is sustained for future generations.
NCCK Secretary General, Canon Peter Karanja, Noreb Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Biwott, was among other leaders who attended the event held in Baringo County.