NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The expansive mangrove forests that dot Tana Delta in the Kenyan
coast generates 2.5 million U.S. dollars annually through a
range of ecosystem services like flood control, provision of
clean water and energy sources, fisheries and building
materials, a study has said.
According to Economics of
Ecosystem and Biodiversity Services of Tana River Basin launched
Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya’s longest river could provide answer
to poverty, hunger and energy deficit if its resources were
Conservation group, Wetlands International, and a host of
partners carried out the study to evaluate the economic
potential of the Tana River basin.
Julie Mulonga, Kenya program manager with Wetlands
International, said the Tana Delta is endowed with abundant
resources that can be harnessed to propel Kenya’s socio-economic
"The Tana delta has already been declared wetlands of
international significance under Ramsar convention. Milions of
people depend on its ecosystem services like fresh air, water
and fisheries," Mulonga said.
She urged concerted efforts to boost conservation of the Tana
River basin that is currently grappling with ecological
depletion linked to population pressure and climate change.
The Tana River basin covers 22 percent of Kenya’s land mass
and is home to 18 percent of the country’s population.
It is the source of 80 percent of clean drinking water
supplied in Nairobi and sustains reservoirs that generate 70
percent of hydropower in Kenya.
According to the report, the current value of electricity
generated from reservoirs along the Tana Delta is estimated at
400 million dollars annually.
It also revealed that irrigated agriculture sustained by the
Tana River basin has the potential to produce 64,000 tons of
rice and maize every year.
Joakim Harlin, Chief of freshwater ecosystems unit at UNEP,
said that attaching monetary value to ecosystems would
strengthen efforts to conserve them for future generations.
"Appreciating the true value of freshwater ecosystems like
the Tana Delta is key to achieve the agenda 2030 on inclusive
development," Harlin said.
He underscored the critical role of community led
interventions to reverse degradation of Tana River basin.