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