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Kindiki terms climate change a national security threat

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has announced that his ministry is treating the issue of climate change as a matter of national security threat.

Kindiki said that due to the recurring droughts in different parts of the country caused by climate change, some of the pastoralist communities have been roped into conflicts for water and pasture, while at some point they clash with farmers, leading to insecurity.

The CS was speaking in Garissa University after leading a tree planting exercise to mark the national tree planting day, where government officials and citizens planted at least 8,000 tree seedlings.

“We consider climate change as a serious threat to our national security. We have defined it as one of the five major security concerns in the country today,” Kindiki said.

The CS further directed all chiefs and their assistants to continue with tree planting sensitizations in their areas and ensure that all citizens plant trees regularly to combat climate change.

“With the help of our chiefs and their assistants, we are going to create a tree-planting culture in this country. We have directed them, under the supervision of their superiors, to make sure that they cultivate this culture so that we can save our country from the ravages of climate change,” the CS said.

Northeastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno said that his team has a target of 300,000 trees to plant and that last Saturday, the regional and county security teams planted over 18,000 tree seedlings.

Garissa County has been experiencing the high effects of climate change resulting in recurring droughts which has left millions of livestock dead, flooding which is currently happening due to the ongoing rains, and locust invasion among other challenges.

With the tree planting culture, the government is aiming to increase the country’s tree cover from 7.4%, which is 3.6% short of the constitutionally accepted 10% forest cover by 2030.

To mark this day, the government intends to plant 500 million tree seedlings during the nationwide tree-planting exercise as part of the government’s pledge to plant 15 billion trees in the next 10 years, being part of the broader picture to combat deforestation and increase the country’s tree cover.

The CS was accompanied by Garissa Governor Nathif Jama, MPs Mohamed Dekow (Township), Abdikadir Hussein (Lagdera), Umi Harun (Nominated) and Udgoon Siyat (women Rep).

By Erick Kyalo

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