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Efforts to restore Ewaso-Ng’iro River basin revived

An environmental committee is ready to restore the Ewaso-Ng’iro River’s splendidness through enforcing acts that ensure ongoing human activities along its banks are properly managed.

The river which supports many livelihoods has in the recent past seen an increase in water-dependent large-scale agricultural activities upstream turning out to be a threat to its ecosystem and aquatic habitation.

According to the Secretary of the National Environmental Complaints Committee (NECC), Dr. John Chumo, time has come to create controls in the activities surrounding the river catchment areas.

He said other activities like sand harvesting downstream has deprived the River of water which had led to a lot of human and wildlife sufferings as the flow dwindles and eventually dries up.

He said some wetlands are at the verge of extinction if the people around those areas do not join hands with the government to protect them.

Dr. Chumo who led a team of other environmentalists during a visit to sand harvesting sites at Achers post along Isiolo-Samburu boundary said that there was dire need to control sand harvesting as it was affecting the water flow downstream and also degraded the environment.

“There are various environmental protection acts which the government through the National Environmental Management Authority had put in place and they ought to be enforced so that replenishment of the water flow could be achieved,” Chumo said.

According to Chumo, farmers upstream have increasingly continued to obstruct the river which has reduced the volume of water even to the extent of the river drying up in some months of the year, which contributes to youth setting out to the river channel to harvest sand.

“We are asking the communities living along the catchment areas to partner with us and lead in protecting the wetlands and rivers for their own benefit,” Dr. Chumo said.

“Our main objective is to restore the source of livelihoods for communities living along the water catchments by ensuring we plant as many trees as possible as we help the country to increase the country’s forest,” he added.

Waso location Chief from Samburu County, Mr. Kelvin Lenayasa called upon the government to offer alternative economic activities for over 600 youth who depend on the river by harvesting sand.

By David Nduro

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