Government to safeguard Mau
Written By:PPS (Presidential Press Service)
Posted: Fri, Jul 18, 2008
The government has said it is committed to restoring Mau forest to
its original purpose so as to safeguard the catchments of the over
twenty rivers that rely on the forest.
President Mwai Kibaki said the 2,000-squarter families living in
the forest would be humanely relocated to a new site already
identified by the Government.
The President was speaking at his Harambee House Office when he
held talks with a Japanese delegation led by the vice Chairman of
Japan-Africa Union Parliamentarians League Hon. Tetsuro Yano who
paid him a courtesy call.
The Head of State said the forest was an important catchment area
for the Sondu Miriu River whose waters levels had drastically
reduced and would affect the hydro power station.
Japan is funding phase two of the Sondu Miriu hydro power station
at a cost of ksh. 7.6 billion, a project that is complete and
awaiting commissioning, having also funded by way of a loan phase
one at a cost of ksh. 12 billion
President Kibaki welcomed the Hon. Yuno who is the Chairman,
research committee on National life and Economy to visit Mombasa
where modernization of the Kenya ports authority container
terminal being funded with loan from the Japan bank of
International cooperation is set to begin.
President Kibaki expressed appreciation to the Japanese Government
for continued assistance to development projects in the country
and looked forwarded to continued cordial relations between the
The Head of State asked the Japanese Government to consider
financing Ol- Karia IV Geo thermal project whose assistance he
requested during his recent visit to Japan.
On export of Kenyan flowers to Japan, President Kibaki said the
product was being delivered through a third country in Europe and
asked the Japanese authorities to give Kenya airways landing
rights to start direct flights to Tokyo.
The Head of state also sought assistance to put up a structure for
the inspection of Kenyan flowers at Jomo Kenyatta International
Airport before export to Japan in order to maintain quality and
President Kibaki commended the Government of Japan for its
commitment to African development through the TICAD initiative
saying the Yokohama declaration and subsequent action plan are a
hallmark of the partnership between Africa and Japan.
On permanent residency for the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo, President
Kibaki said the Government plans to acquire a plot and construct
offices and residence of the Ambassador.
The Government currently spends 47,000 US dollars on monthly on
rent that could be reduced through construction of a Kenyan
Mr. Yano on his part thanked the President and other leaders for
setting aside their personal ambitions to work together and return
the country to normalcy after the post election challenges.
The Head of delegation said Japan was happy that Kenya was putting
into proper use its development assistance.
Hon Yao said he had met the Minister for environment Mr. John
Michuki on cleaning up of Nairobi River, a proposal which he said
would be taken up by the Government of Japan.
Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi and four other
Japanese legislators attended the talks.
Meanwhile, the UN Environment Programme said Kenya stands to lose
a nature-based economic asset worth over US $300 million alone to
the tea, tourism and energy sectors if the forest of the Mau
Complex continues to be degraded and destroyed.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Raila Odinga convened a
multi-stakeholder forum to collect information to determine a way
forward for protection of the Mau Complex.
The forum highlighted the need to restore the forest of the Mau
Based on the forum discussions, a high-level task force was
established to address encroachments into the forests.
A new enforcement structure will also be set-up to tackle rampant
illegal logging and charcoal making in the Mau Complex.