The Environmentalists have raised the alarm over the wanton destruction of farms, residential areas and grazing lands in Migori County.
They have also expressed concern over the unchecked pollution of rivers in the region by the mushrooming gold mining firms.
This, they said, threatened the survival of human life, livestock and plants species, especially in Nyatike, Suna West and Kuria West Sub counties.
“The entire lands are home to human beings and key to survival of our livestock and plant species. If not well protected, then the affected areas are likely to become serious food deficit points and a death trap to animals and plant species,” said Conserve Migori Lobby (CML) official Joseph Chacha.
Chacha identified the indiscriminate harvesting of trees for timber and fuel, the intense sand harvesting in Lwanda areas of Nyatike and, the Osiri and Macalder mines as some of the negative human undertakings that are exposing the region to the greatest threat.
The environment in the area was also being threatened by the uncontrolled sand harvesting in rivers Migori, Hibwa and Nyangoto as well as gold mining activities within Suna West and Kuria West sub counties, he told KNA in Kehancha town even as the National Government continued to put spirited efforts to control the two activities to conserve the environment.
Chacha noted that the growing demand for sand, timber, charcoal and gold was causing a total destruction of farmlands, destroying acres of lands for human habitation, wiping out lands for grazing animals and depleting very important plant species in the area.
“Once an area population engages in negative land and forest management, obviously such region will face poor food production and desertification, leading to a threat to the survival of human beings and animals as well as flora and fauna,” stressed the official.
He said the region urgently require to be planted with over 10 million tree seedlings to re-stock the forest cover with a view of protecting the entire land and rivers in the area.
“There is also the need for the local administration to fully enforce a ban on haphazard mineral extraction to conserve the environment,” emphasized Chacaha.
He said those mining sand and gold close to homes and on the banks of rivers must be barred from doing so if protection of the land for human habitation is to be managed and pollution of rivers be controlled.
The Migori County Commissioner, Joseph Rotich said a resolve by the government to control deforestation and river pollution will still remain in force in the area.
“We want those engaged in the activities of sand and gold mining to run them responsibly without compromising our environment,” he made the appeal in his office, while commenting on the fears expressed by the local environmentalists.
By George Agimba