• May 27, 2024
  • Last Update May 27, 2024 12:55 PM
  • Nairobi

Stop grabbing riparian land, says Environment and Land judge

Stop grabbing riparian land, says Environment and Land judge


Friday April 26,2024

KNA by Roselyne Kavoo

Machakos Presiding Judge, Environment and Land Court Lady Justice Christine Ochieng has appealed to Kenyans to desist from grabbing riparian areas to prevent flooding that is currently wreaking havoc in different parts of the country.

Justice Ochieng said Kenyans should instead protect and conserve riparian land to combat effects of climate change.

“Rather than grabbing land that is close to rivers and developing it, Kenyans should plant trees to conserve it,” she said.

The lady justice called on the Water Resources and Management Authority (WARMA) to enforce the laws and regulations that govern riparian reserves to avert further grabbing.

“It is the responsibility of WARMA to do enforcement, as courts we only issue orders where necessary as dictated by the law,” noted Ochieng.

She spoke on Thursday when she led a tree planting drive in Machakos Boys High School where more than 3,500 tree seedlings were planted and 600 others given to the members of the public.

The judge called on Kenyans to take advantage of the ongoing rains to plant trees to mitigate the effects of global warming.

“I call upon each of us to take tree planting as a personal responsibility and nurture them to maturity,” said Ochieng.

Speaking at the same event, Eastern Regional Forest Conservator Edward Munene said Kenya Forest Service (KFS) in partnership with other stakeholders targets to grow 1.8 million tree seedlings during this season.

Munene said the tree planting is geared towards achieving the government’s ambitious plan of growing 15 billion trees by 2032.

“There exists a lot of potential for increasing forest and tree cover in degraded landscape of Machakos hence the need for concerted efforts,” he said.

The regional forest conservator however noted that encroachment and poaching in the gazetted forests pose a great challenge in protection and conservation of forests.

Also present was Machakos Forest Conservator Milcah Mutua who called on residents to plant fruit trees as a way of increasing tree cover.

Mutua however issued a warning against destruction of forests saying those culpable will be charged accordingly.

Courtesy; KNA

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