Residents of Turkana County celebrated this year’s World Environment Day under the theme of restoring the ecosystem.
Addressing the participants of the event convened at Queen of Peace Primary School in Lodwar Town, the Deputy Governor, Peter Lotesiro who was also the Chief Guest at the event thanked all the people as he assured them of the County Government’s commitment in conserving the environment.
Lotesiro highlighted the importance of the world’s environment day and the significance of taking proper care of the surrounding nature in regard to life of humanity.
“The World Environment Day is a perfect opportunity to make us aware of the issues we are facing and how one can take measures to avert them,” Lotesiro said .
The Deputy Governor urged residents to always keep the environment clean and fit for human habitation.
He called on the residents to practice proper waste disposal methods at homes, schools and in the entire county.
“It is essential for all us to realize that every little good matters when it comes to saving the environment for the current and future generations,” he said.
The Deputy Governor warned residents against cutting live indigenous trees for fuel and engaging in actions that contribute to global warming.
“Stop cutting down indigenous trees for charcoal, stop polluting rivers, stop air pollution, reduce Carbon dioxide emissions, stop degrading the environment, stop actions that lead to global warming but instead use clean energy,” warned Lotesiro.
At the same time, the Deputy Governor encouraged residents to plant and protect trees, rehabilitate degraded land, practicing agroforestry and engaging in environmentally sound activities.
Lotesiro assured residents of the County’s commitment towards restoration of Turkana County ecosystem.
He outlined the five County Government’s achievements in regard to environmental conservation that include planting over 2.5 million tree seedlings since its inception.
“We have planted the tree seedlings since 2013 when the devolution government started, through the Directorate of Natural Resources,” said Lotesiro.
Among other achievements, Turkana County Government has developed a Policy and Bill which will be a guide in environmental conservation, while the County Executive has approved climate change and Policy Bill, which awaits to be availed to the County Assembly for ratification before implementation.
The Deputy Governor also articulated that the County Government in partnership with National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has gazetted environment inspectorate who are charged with enforcing environmental regulations.
Additionally, they have also gazetted the County Environment Committee whose mandate is to ensure proper management of Turkana County environment.
The County Government has further gazetted Loima Forest and plans were underway to also gazette Song’ot as a forest.
And in a bid to ensure the environment and natural resources are protected and conserved, the Turkana County Government has deployed environmental and Natural resources officers in all the 30 wards of Turkana County.
On his part, the County Chief Officer of Water, Environment and Natural Resources Moses Natome appreciated everyone for making it to the World Environment Day as he explained that the day is special since it was coined by the United Nations.
The Chief Officer urged everyone to reflect on the benefits one obtains from the environment and the impact human activities have on the environment, adding that the ecosystem is degraded by reckless human activities including agriculture, mining, construction among others.
“This is a day when we sit back as humanity to reflect on what we have taken out of environment because that is what affects our ecosystem and we must be able to bring back what we have taken from the environment,” he said.
Natome said that there is a need to recognize those who dedicated their efforts in conserving and preserving the environment and the ecosystems especially for the County of Turkana.
“This is the day of celebrating the champions of restoration, conservation and preservation of our ecosystem and environment, it is a day of recognizing their work and contribution because if it were not their efforts we wouldn’t have achieved much,” he added.
He urged residents to engage in environmental friendly activities to prevent further environmental degradation.