News 2008

 

Government to safeguard Mau Forest



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 two countries.

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 freshness.

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 Chancery.

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 Complex.

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.

 

 

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