NDMA Board Chairman Mr Raphael Nzomo is calling for conservation and restoration of forests to mitigate negative effects of climate change.
Speaking during the Kakamega Forest Marathon held on November 30, 2019 where he was one of the chief guests, Mr Nzomo reiterated that land use, economic activities and environmental conservation are inseparable.
When it comes to climate change, nothing can be said to exist in isolation. Severe weather events have become the new normal and natural disasters such as droughts or flooding experienced in one area are influenced by other climate events, he said.
Mr Nzomo, who also took part in the 15km fundraising race dubbed Ingo forest challenge, observed that negative effects of destruction of pristine ecosystems such as Kakamega Forest become more pronounced in areas that are already climatically vulnerable and drought-prone, undermining efforts to end drought emergencies. He cited the Big 4 Agenda component on food security, whose achievement, he said, largely depends on sustainable exploitation of our land resource.
Encroachment and over-harvesting of forest resources like we have seen in Kakamega Forest will erode any strides we make towards achieving the very food security that we seek, he noted.
Droughts have become more frequent and severe
He added that as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NDMA, he had seen firsthand the toll ravages of climate change have on communities, especially those living in arid and semi-arid areas.
Droughts, he said, have become more frequent and severe due to climate change.
This year alone, communities living in arid and semi-arid regions bore the brunt of drought until the short rains arrived in October. This has been quickly replaced by flooding in areas that are receiving
enhanced rainfall, the Chairman observed.
The 5th edition of the marathon was graced by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb (Dr) Amina Mohamed, Devolution and ASALs Cabinet Secretary Hon. Eugene Wamalwa and former Vice President and Wiper leader Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka. The marathon is part of an initiative that seeks to sensitise the world on the need to protect indigenous forests. The organisers, Kakamega Forest Heritage Foundation, say the forest has been exploited over the years and there is a risk of completely losing it unless concerted conservation measures are put in place.