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Youth urged to conserve environment

09 January 2013, 17:11 Sakah Richard

Youths have been challenged to be at the fore front in environmental conservation to mitigate the effects of global warming.

The County Director of Environment Leonard Ofula asked youths to participate in tree planting programmes in rural and urban areas to combat the adverse effects of climate change.  

Speaking at Makutano Township during the launch of the tree planting and clean up campaign, Ofula said the ministry of environment and natural resources will plant trees on water catchment areas and degraded forests within Kapenguria municipality in West Pokot County..

The Environment officer said 100 youths have been recruited under the “Kazi Kwa Vijana Project” to undertake the tree planting drive dubbed “Greening” that will run from January to March this year.

He said the government has planned to plant 40 000 indigenous tree seedlings along the riparian and water catchment areas during the ongoing short rain season.

“The youth will also clean up polluted rivers within the urban centres to conserve the environment,”  Ofula said.

He identified the five polluted rivers as Soibei, Kotoruk, Siyoi, Karas and Aramaket in Kapenguria Division.

The officer warned that anyone found dumping solid wastes in rivers and engaging in wanton destruction of trees will be arrested and prosecuted.

He also urged farmers in the county to embrace tree planting culture to mitigate the effects of climate change and increase forest cover in the country.

The assistant minister of Environment and natural resource  Julius Murgor who presided over the function called on the residents to embrace tree planting as an alternative source of income and to ease pressure on protected forests as the only source of firewood and charcoal.

Murgor expressed concern over haphazard disposal of solid wastes in urban towns saying this exposes residents to risk of contracting water borne diseases and environmental degradation.

The Kapenguria MP asked the Kapenguria Municipal council to intensify collection of garbage and clear clogged sewerage systems to improve hygienic standards in towns.

He advised the local authority to identify a designated dump site where the garbage collectors will dump the waste and recycle the litter to keep the environment clean.       

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