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Beter environment key in efficient public service delivery, Prof. Kobia

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko while addressing locals in Kikima market in Makueni County. Photo by KNA.

There is a relationship between climate change and an effective public service and that is why the government is keen on planting trees to preserve the environment for a better public service, Ministry of Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. Margret Kobia has said.

Prof. Kobia said that most of the challenges in the public service like drought and floods are as a result of climate change and they make the delivery of critical and essential services to the local ‘mwananchi’ very difficult. For instance when it floods and that is why the government saw it fit to improve public service by first improving the environment in which public servants work in by planting trees.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Ngong forest during a tree planting exercise to mark this year’s Africa Public Service Day, Prof. Kobia said that a better environment even controls poverty for instance when there is drought many people become malnourished, sick and they cannot work towards national development.

“There is no government that is stronger than the public service and therefore when we improve the environment that public servants operate in, then we will have delivered effective services to our people,” said Prof. Kobia.

The  Ministry of Environment and Forestry CS, Keriako Tobiko said that Ngong forest is one of the largest water towers in the country and the government has shown a lot of commitment in conserving it in that just a few weeks ago the head of the Public Service, Joseph Kinyua led Permanent Secretaries (PS’s) in a tree planting exercise at the forest and he set an individual record of planting 35 trees.

Tobiko explained that Ngong forest was once a close canopy forest spanning 3,000 hectares but now only a paltry 500 hectares remains with the rest having been grabbed, degraded to town like Ngong and Kiserian and the effects is that the once Embakasi river is now a trickle.

According to Tobiko public servants are known for leaving their coats hanging on the office chair and disappearing but this has changed and they are leading in tree planting exercises in the field which is commendable.

“There is no better way to celebrate this important day for public servants all across Africa than to plant trees,” added Tobiko insisting that the tree planted today will be enjoyed by generations to come even those yet to be born.

Tobiko called on the ministry of public service to ensure the survival of the trees that they planted with Prof. Kobia assuring that her ministry will adopt the particular site which will be fenced and the trees watered to ensure sustainability.

The  Ministry of ICT Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Maureen Mbaka said that the importance of tree cannot be overemphasized from the air we breathe, foods and water that all emanate from a good environment full of trees and thus there is need to combat climate change by planting tree.

Mbaka said that all arms of government are united in achieving the president’s directive of achieving the 10 percent forest cover by the year 2020.

“As a ministry we have also recognized the key role that ICT plays in effective public service delivery and that is why we came up with the national ICT policy 2019 to entrench ICT in public service delivery which has gone a long way in availing government service even during these difficult Covid-19 times,” explained Mbaka.

Ministry of Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Chris Kiptoo said that the country is working to beat the Guinness book of record for the most number of trees planted in one hour.

“We are working on a plan to have at least 35 million Kenyans plant a trees each within one hour this will go a long way in helping us achieve the 10 percent tree cover,” explained Kiptoo.

By  Joseph  Ng’ang’a

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