The government has stepped up efforts to foster Public-Private Partnerships to boost ongoing environmental conservation efforts, Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said.
In an elaborate plan to guarantee the success of ongoing environmental conservation initiatives including increasing our forest cover to at least 10% by planting 2 billion tree seedlings by the year 2022, Tobiko said the government is cultivating closer relations with private sector organisations and community groups.
Already, public-private partnerships have begun to generate positive returns with the private sector contributing more than 10 million tree seedlings in various parts of the country for the ongoing national reforestation campaigns. Various corporate organisations, he noted, are also actively involving their workforce in environmental regeneration programmes.
“Our engagements with the private sector have been very successful in recent months and we have adopted a leave no-one behind the approach to ensure the sustainability of environmental conservation efforts, Tobiko said, adding that, “Environmental Management remains a collective responsibility for both the public-private players. We must, as the government, private sector and community members work together to fight illegal logging, stop pollution and restore our environment for our own wellbeing and that of future generations.”
With heightened partnerships, Tobiko further added that state agencies charged with environmental management responsibilities had also stepped up their surveillance to curb environmental pollution across the country.
“It is no longer business as usual as we continue to engage private sector players to ensure strict compliance with environmental regulations,” he said. He added that Industrial concerns discharging effluent and sewerage directly to Lake Victoria among other sensitive environmental ecosystems will face the full wrath of the law.
On her part KBL MD, Jane Karuku said the company would continue supporting initiatives geared at advancing environmental conservation as part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility goals.
“Water is a shared resource with complex interdependencies between competing users such as communities, ecosystems and companies, there’s need for collaboration to ensure sustainable use of the resource,” Ms Karuku said.
The conference is expected to highlight environmental management realities which are critical to the success of water and sanitation programmes.