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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya to rehabilitate rivers ecosystem to
promote environmental conservation

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to begin rehabilitating all its rivers ecosystems in order to promote environmental conservation, a senior government official said on Friday.

Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, told a media briefing in Nairobi that a detailed program is currently under development that will guide the restoration and rehabilitation of river ecosystems.

“A multi-agency team drawn from relevant government department has already been put in place to oversee the restoration of the rivers,” Tobiko said during a tour of the Nairobi River.

Tobiko said that most rivers have been environmentally degraded as a result of domestic, medical and industrial pollution.

He said the ministry will work closely with county governments as the responsibility of cleaning up rivers falls with the devolved governments.

He noted that in 2009, the government embarked on a similar exercise of cleaning up the river systems but the pollution returned to the rivers due to lack of enforcement of environmental laws.

Tobiko said that the government will strictly enforce the laws and those found polluting the environment will be prosecuted.

He noted most rivers affected by pollution are in urban towns as informal settlements are usually located along river banks, adding that members of the public prefer to discharge their waste into river due to lack of awareness.

“We are therefore going to roll out a sensitization campaign to enlighten the public of the benefits of clean river systems,” he added.

           

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