Kenya is a newly industrializing country and that faces the great challenge of bettering its economic status and performance as well as improving the living standards of Kenyans without undermining the environment upon which so much of its national earnings and individual people’s livelihoods depend.
The Government of Kenya through relevant ministries as well as in partnership with some of the Non-Governmental Organizations, greatly understands as well as appreciating the important function that the environment plays in underpinning the development of the country.
The ultimate achievement of Vision 2030 entirely depends on the maintenance of the natural systems that support agriculture, energy supplies, livelihood strategies as well as tourism tourism.
The Kenyan government aims at providing Kenyans with a clean, secure, and most sustainable environment by the year 2030. To make this happen, the country has set goals such as increasing forest cover from less than three per cent of its land base at present to four per cent by 2012 as well as lessening half all the environment related diseases by the same time.
Among the strategies that the country has laid in line of achieving the environmental goals include promoting environmental conservation to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); improving pollution and waste management through the design and application of economic incentives; and commissioning public-private partnerships (PPPs) for improved efficiency in water and sanitation delivery.
Kenya also is committed to enhance disaster preparedness mechanisms in all disaster-prone areas and improve the capacity for adaptation to the impacts of global climate change.
Forests cover only about three per cent of Kenya’s land area, yet they provide crucial direct and indirect goods as well as services to its people and make a significant contribution to the national economy.
About 70 per cent of Kenya’s domestic energy comes from wood, for instance, and out of the 20 million M3 of fuelwood consumed annually, 95 per cent is collected from forests and rangelands.
In addition to providing a variety of wood and non-timber products, Kenya’s forests provide the following ecosystem services: they trap and store rain water; regulate river flows and prevent flooding; help recharge ground-water tables; improve soil fertility; reduce soil erosion and sediment loads in river water; help regulate local climate conditions; and act as carbon reservoirs and sinks.
Article By Juma Fred.