Kenyans have been urged to conserve Wetlands saying this will help to increase the population of endangered crane populations.
Speaking during World Wetlands Day at Lake Narasha (Timboroa Dam) in Uasin Gishu County, Dr. Wanyoike Wa Miti, the East Africa Research and Monitoring specialist, said cranes rely on wetlands and destruction will make them distinct.
“It is sad that as I am talking there is a dwindling number of cranes where we have only 8,000 from the previous 30,000 in the late ’80s this is due to their destruction of wetlands. The number has come down due to the destruction of wetlands across the Country,” said Dr. Wamiti.
“Destruction of wetlands has destroyed breeding space for cranes where they would establish their nest and lay their eggs we should therefore protect our wetlands. As a Country we need to think about wetlands conservation to prevent further loosing if these species of birds,” he added.
He said cranes are water birds since the larger cycle of the life cycle rely depend on wetlands for their survival.
“According to last year’s census Uasin Gishu had the largest percentage which was almost 27 percent of national population,” he said.
Cranes in Kenyan are distributed in eleven Counties include Uasn Gishu County, Trans-Nzoia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Elgeyo Marakwet among others.
Dir. Joseph Mwangi Country Manager International Crane Foundation (ICF) says both the National and County government should come out and help in the conservation of wetlands.
“Wetlands prevent climate change three times more than trees in carbon concentration therefore iots destruction has great impact to not only to birds but people. We call on each other to help in conserving wetlands,” he said.
“To protect our wetlands Sensitization is very key and we need everyone to come on board for us to stop losing our wetlands because they are so critical to our lives,” he added.
Kipchumba Barno Director Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Uasin Gishu County says they are mapping out all the wetlands with an aim of protecting them in form of fencing them for original animals and birds to occupy them.
Isaac Elmi Head of Department of Ecosystem Management Department said they have so far indentified 10,000 wetlands in the 47 Counties.
“What we have done is that we have called upon agencies and County governments to adopt wetlands in their respective counties , this is because adoption protection and conservation of wetlands will help to mitigate climate change,” he said.
“So far ten wetlands have been adopted and therefore in today’s celebrations across the Country we expect many Counties and state agencies and actors to adopt babies called wetlands,” he added.
He noted by doing so this will prevent the Country from suffering from severe drought that has been the norm.
Cabinet Secretary in charge of Environment Climate Change and Forestry Soipan Tuya who was the chief guest said wetlands are at the core of the 10-year National Landscapes and Ecosystems Restoration Strategy, the anchor blueprint for the Government’s flagship 15bn National Tree Growing Programme.
“Restoration of wetlands is a priority for the Government because of their immense ecological benefits that includes acting as oases of livelihoods for communities and drivers of Kenya’s socioeconomic transformation,” she said.
She also unveiled the restoration plan of Lake Narasha (Timboroa Dam) including fencing and rallying the water sector stakeholders to maximize the potential of the wetland to supply water to millions of residents of Uasin Gishu and and Baringo Counties and beyond.