The Government is committed to reclaiming and conserving all water catchment areas in the country, President William Ruto has said.
President Ruto said efforts were being made to reclaim, rehabilitate and conserve all forests, water towers, rivers, and other degraded landscapes within the country.
Speaking during the launch of the 7th edition of the annual Kaptagat forest ecosystem tree growing event held at Kessup forest station in Elgeyo Marakwet County, the President said the move was irreversible.
The President also attended a thanksgiving ceremony for Treasury PS Chris Kiptoo at St Alphonsus Mutei secondary school.
“Over the next 10 years, we shall grow 15 billion trees and restore 10.6 million hectares of degraded forests and rangelands.”
He said in keeping with the constitutional imperative, this programme shall fully involve the public from the grassroots, all the way to the Cabinet.
” I appeal to every Kenyan to plant at least 30 trees each year, in order to properly participate in this programme as mandated by the Constitution and contribute to our collective climate action targets,” said President Ruto.
He expressed concern that extreme weather has become more common, as a result of climate change caused by human activity.
“In our country and region, drought has increased in frequency, intensity and duration,”
The President said over two million livestock died, and many more wild fauna perished due to lack of water and pasture, inflicting unbearable losses to many households in our pastoral rangeland communities.
He said food scarcity has driven food prices beyond the reach of many, making emergency relief the mainstay of nutrition security.
On security along the Kerio Valley, President Ruto assured communities in the region that peace will be restored.
“I promised you that I would do whatever it takes to restore peace along the Kerio Valley. We have posted enough security there to decisively deal with the criminal elements operating there,” said President Ruto.
He also said the Government will from this month first pay the salaries of people under the cash transfer programme before the rest of the civil servants.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua praised the President for shelving plans by SRC to increase salaries for senior Government officials and leaders.
“We all agree that our economy is yet to improve and no need to increase salaries for leaders. However, we’ve agreed to help those in lower cadres like police among other civil servants,” said Mr Gachagua.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said the decision by the Judiciary to temporarily stop the implementation of the Finance Bill was ill-advised.
“As much as we want the independence of the Judiciary, it must also come alive to the public interest,” said Mr Mudavadi.
Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen said 52 people lost their lives and 32 others were admitted to various hospitals following Friday’s accident in Londiani.
He urged counties to relocate markets along the highways to other areas to prevent such situations in the future.
Environment CS Soipan Tuya urged leaders to embrace tree-planting exercises in their respective areas to achieve the target of planting 15 billion trees by 2032.
Governor Wisely Rotich (Elgeyo Marakwet) and several MPs addressed the function.
Present were Cabinet Secretaries Simon Chelugui (Cooperatives), Florence Bore (Labour), Rebecca Miano (EAC), Zachary Njeru (Lands), Eliud Owalo (ICT), Ezekiel Machogu (Education) and Susan Nakhumicha (Health).
Others were Governors Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo) and Jonathan Bii (Uasin Gishu) and several MPs