Kenyans Urged to Heed the Call: Protect Wetlands Before Cranes Vanish

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Amidst the concerted efforts to protect Kenya’s wetlands, the Uasin Gishu County government has made a significant stride by allocating 100 million shillings towards fencing off more than 300 dams and wetlands.

Kenyan authorities safeguarding Lake Narasha, a critical wetland habitat

During the World Wetlands Day celebrations at Lake Narasha (Timboroa Dam) in Uasin Gishu County, Kenyans received a resounding call to action: to protect wetlands and safeguard the endangered crane populations. Dr. Wanyoike Wamiti, the East Africa Research and Monitoring specialist, emphasized the critical role wetlands play in the survival of cranes, urging for their conservation to prevent further decline in crane numbers.

Dr. Wamiti highlighted the alarming decrease in crane populations due to wetland destruction, underscoring the urgent need for wetlands conservation nationwide. He emphasized that wetlands provide essential breeding spaces for cranes, crucial for their life cycle and survival.

Cranes, being water birds, rely heavily on wetlands for sustenance, as emphasized by the Director of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), Dir. Joseph Mwangi. Mwangi stressed the significant impact of wetland destruction on both bird species and human populations, urging collaboration between national and county governments for effective wetlands conservation.

African Grey Cranes/Photo Courtesy

Kipchumba Barno, Director of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in Uasin Gishu County, detailed ongoing efforts to map and protect wetlands, including fencing initiatives to preserve their ecological integrity. Isaac Elmi, Head of the Department of Ecosystem Management, emphasized the importance of wetlands adoption by agencies and county governments to mitigate climate change and prevent severe drought.

Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, in charge of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, emphasized the government’s commitment to wetlands restoration, unveiling plans for Lake Narasha (Timboroa Dam) and highlighting wetlands’ crucial role in Kenya’s socioeconomic development.

The collective call to action resonated throughout the celebrations, emphasizing the vital importance of wetlands preservation for both wildlife and human communities, and underscoring their role as essential ecosystems for sustainable development.

Amidst the concerted efforts to protect Kenya’s wetlands, the Uasin Gishu County government has made a significant stride by allocating 100 million shillings towards fencing off more than 300 dams and wetlands. According to CEC Environment Kotut Uasin Gishu, this allocation underscores the county’s commitment to wetlands conservation.
Furthermore, the initiative will not only safeguard these critical ecosystems but also provide employment opportunities. As CEC Sammy Kotut eloquently puts it, “Our aim is twofold: to preserve our natural heritage and to empower our communities. By allocating resources to protect wetlands, we are investing in both environmental sustainability and local livelihoods.” Additionally, the county plans to employ at least 107 village administrators to bolster efforts in safeguarding wetlands, further emphasizing their dedication to this cause.

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