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Government tough warning to facilities, persons discharging effluent into rivers

The  government has warned facilities and individuals discharging effluents into water ways that they will soon face severe consequences.

The  Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Dr. Fred  Matiang’i said it was only a matter of time before they catch up with the culprits, once the framework to enforce the same being worked out by Ministries of water and Environment is out.

“Once  we receive the framework of enforcement after the ongoing mapping on waterways and areas where people have been deliberately polluting, being done by the two ministries, we shall move with speed to enforce it without fear or favour,” noted Dr. Matiangi.

The  CS warned those polluting water ways and water resources not to wait for deadlines that will be given by the respective ministries, but should stop the practice immediately, adding that as Kenyans we must clean our environment.

He lamented that we give a lot of excuses of not keeping our environment clean, but he noted we must all be disciplined to keep our environment clean.

“What money do you need to clean your house or your environment, why do you need someone to pay you to clean where you stay? We are not going to hand over a dirty and polluted country to our children,” asserted Dr. Matiang’i.

The  CS  challenged wananchi to support President’s Uhuru Kenyatta’s greening Kenya campaign, while urging water service providers to be on the forefront in supporting tree planting campaigns.

Dr. Matiang’i who  was officially opening the 10th edition of Water Companies Sport Organization Games at Embu Stadium on Wednesday, said the president has committed to the world to ensure the country surpasses the 10 percent forest cover by 2022, an obligation which cannot be met by ministry of environment alone.

“We cannot surpass the 10 percent forest cover if we assume it is the responsibility of Ministry of Environment, it is our collective responsibility,” he added.

He also directed the members of the public administration, down from the sub location level to seriously engage in tree planting in their areas of jurisdiction, which will be a key performance indicator.

The  Water Cabinet  Secretary, Simon Chelugui  who accompanied Dr. Matiang’i noted that Kenya is among the nations in the world, with lowest renewable fresh water sources standing at less than 452 cubic metres per capita.

“Water resources both surface and ground water continue to diminish due to increasing demand and effects of climate change, hence the need for prudent use of available water resources,” noted Chelugui.

On  non-revenue water, the CS said this was a major priority of his docket, adding that Kenya is losing approximately Sh.7 billion annually through non payments of levies on the commodity.

On  water pollution, Chelugui noted this is a serious problem, but was quick to add that his ministry is developing a National Sanitation Policy, which is at public participation stage, aimed at cleaning our rivers beginning with Nairobi River.

The  WASCO games which kicked off Tuesday have brought together 52 water companies across the country and will be ending on August 23.

By  Kimani  Tirus

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