Kenya .doc - Kenya by pengtt




Deforestation and soil erosion in Kenya are attributable to growing population pressure,
which creates increased demands for food production and firewood. Drought and
desertification (to which 83% of Kenya's land area is vulnerable) also threaten potential
productive agricultural lands. By the mid 1980s, Kenya had lost 70% of its original
mangrove areas, with the remainder covering an estimated 53,000–62,000 hectares.
Water pollution from urban and industrial wastes poses another environmental problem.
In addition to pollutants from industry, the nation's cities produce about 1.1 million tons of
solid wastes. In an effort to preserve wildlife, the government has set aside more than
3.5 million ha as national parks and game preserves. In 2001, 6% of Kenya's total land
area was protected. Game hunting and trade in ivory and skins have been banned, but
poaching threatens leopards, cheetahs, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, and other
species. It is illegal to kill an animal even if it attacks. As of 2001, 43 species of
mammals and 24 bird species were endangered and 130 plant species were threatened
with extinction. Endangered species include the Sokoke scops owl, Taita blue-banded
papilio, Tana River mangabey, Tana River red colobus, green sea turtle, and hawksbill
turtle. There are 18 extinct species, including the Kenyan rocky river frog and the Kenya

There are over thirty National Parks and Reserves throughout Kenya. These areas are
under the management of the Wildlife Service which aims to conserve and manage
Kenya's wildlife and its habitat.

The National Parks of Lake Turkana were inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1997
and extended in 2001. Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest became a World
Heritage site in 1997. A number of sites are UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves:
Mount Kenya, Amboseli, Kiunga, Malindi-Watamu, Mount Elgon and Mount Kulal.

Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance are Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake
Elmenteita, Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru.

Kenya's protected areas are home to many birds and other wildlife. There are over one
thousand species of birds including migrant waterfowl. Animals found in the reserves are
elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, rhinoceroses and

Kenya is a mega - biodiversity nation with both globally and nationally significant
biodiversity in the wildlife, forest, fresh water and marine ecosystems. Wildlife plays a
significant role in the socio-economic development of the country that it forms the basis
for tourism, which is Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earner. Kenya’s wildlife consisting
of large variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and broad range of other species is one of
the richest and most diversified in the region.
Kenya is world famous for its safari wildlife, and 12.3 percent of its land area is currently
under some form of protection. The country has 1,103 species of birds, 261 mammals,
407 reptiles, 76 amphibians, and 6,500 species of plants.

An elaborate system of National Parks and Reserves and other sanctuaries has been
established to protect and conserve these wildlife resources. However due to unplanned
changes in land use and destruction of habitats, there has been gradual loss of habitats
and species. Recent surveys indicate significant decrease in wildlife numbers both in
and outside protected areas during the last three decades.

About 65% of the country’s biodiversity is found outside protected areas. Steep decline
in wildlife populations has occurred in rangelands outside protected areas due to rapid
changes in land use leading to wildlife habitat loss through essentially land
fragmentation for intensive settlement and cultivation of agricultural crops, which in turn
fuel human wildlife conflicts.

 Poaching for commercial trade and for bush – meat are major cause for decline in
wildlife populations and challenge for wildlife conservation efforts which consume huge
finances. Accordingly wildlife is effectively being out competed in terms of space and
isolation and through loss of migratory corridors. Climate challenge is also expected to
affect the ecology of wildlife parks and its movements. The frequent drying up of the Rift
Valley lakes which are habitats for the world famous flamingo is partly attributed to
climate change.

Kenya has very little rainforest (mostly montane forest) cover, and these scattered
patches are being further degraded for fuelwood and building material. Overall forest
loss in Kenya has been moderate over the past generation—5 percent of the country's
forest cover was lost between 1990 and 2005. Primary forest cover also fell by 5 percent
over the same period and now cover around 700,000 hectares. Deforestation rates have
decreased slightly since the end of the 1990s.

The most immediate threats to Kenya's forests are subsistence activities and agricultural
expansion. In recent years conflicts between forest squatters and police have escalated
as the government tries to crack down on deforestation. In 2005, the government evicted
10,000-50,000 families from the edge of the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley as part of its
campaign to protect the country's natural resources.

Water and Sanitation
Kenya has 20.2 cubic kilometers of renewable water resources with 76% used in farming
activity and 4% used for industrial purposes. Only about 42% of the residents in rural
areas and 88% of city dwellers have pure drinking water. Water availability, quality,
supply and its management is one of the major issues.

Overview of water concerns
      1. Water pollution - from washing, bathing and watering of animals directly in
         the river
      2. Pollution of water from point sources (abattoirs, toilets, market centres etc.)
       3.  Inappropriate solid waste disposal in market centres
       4.  Illegal water abstraction and over-abstraction of water
       5.  Inefficient irrigation practices
       6.  Encroachment on and drainage of wetlands/Inappropriate use of agro-
           chemicals in wetlands
       7. Introduction of Eucalyptus species
       8. Soil erosion on the farms, footpaths and roadsides
       9. Lack of water resource information (water quantity, quality, rainfall, water use,
           sediment yield)
       10. Human and wildlife conflicts
       11. Dependence on a single external source of water

Current Management Strategy – the Integrated Water Resource Management
(IWRM) plan

Kenya has adopted the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). This
operates in a River Basin/Catchment context where the process promotes the
coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources to
maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without
compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems (as defined by Global Water
Partnership, 2001).

Kenya is chronically water, scarce: The combined surface and ground water
potential is estimated at 20,619 million cubic metres a year. From this water resource
potential and due to a rapid population growth over the last 30 years, our water per
capita decreased from 1,853 cubic metres in 1969 to 704 cubic metres in 2000, to the
current estimate of 647 cubic metres thus going below the global benchmark of 1,000
cubic metres per person a year. Globally, a country is categorized as ‘water
stressed’ if its annual renewable freshwater supplies are between 1,000 and
1,700 cubic metres per capita, and ‘water scarce’ if its renewable freshwater
supplies are less than 1,000 cubic metres per capita (UNEP 2002).

Water Conflict: The most noticeable breakdown of water resources in Kenya can
be seen from conflict in and between communities over water resources or
where water resource availability has threatened basic livelihoods.
Conflict prone areas include the upper Ewaso Ngiro North River Basin, West Mt. Kenya,
Narumoru River, Molo River, Njoro River and parts of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni

Limited Catchment Areas Advisory Committees (CACCs): Whereas the Water
     Act, 2002 establishes a very elaborate and clear management structure
     (comprising of numerous institutions) for water supply, the oversight of the
     water catchment areas (or water resource in general) is left to the Catchment
     Areas Advisory Committees (CAACs) which have no direct authority over the
     WRMA regional managers who oversee the allocation and use of water. In other
     words, the WRMA regional managers are not obliged to take the advice and views
     of the CAACs.
Poor oversight of water rights: In the past each water right application was
    considered individually rather than based on an overall allocation plan. This
    has created a situation where there is very little information on abstraction
    on a catchment basis. Currently, three types of illegal abstraction behaviour are
    observed; (1) those that are authorized but have no permit and abstract in
    accordance with the quantities specified in the authorization (2) those that have
    authorization or a permit but abstract without regard to the limits allowed and (3)
    those with no application, authorization or permit.

Confusing permits: The existing water permits were granted under the old Water Act
    Cap 372, and some still have several years of life remaining. Yet the terms and
    conditions under which some of them were granted are in conflict with the Water
    Act 2002. The new user fees, regulations and rules developed by WRMA under
    provisions of Water Act 2002 have not been gazetted and the Water Act Cap
    372 is still being applied. Once the new rules and regulations are gazetted
    by the Minister, then the provisions of Water Act 372 will be repealed. This
    is an area of conflict which can delay progress of the reform agenda.

Poor water pollution control: Recently, National Environmental Management
Authority (NEMA) established waste and effluent discharge charges to river
bodies. However, the effluent discharge standards are not specified and the fees
are different to those of the WRMA. Additionally, there is non-point source pollution
from poor land-husbandry, sanitation, and liquid and solid waste-disposal practices. For
example, studies carried out on pollution in Nairobi River found that sewage,
nutrients, toxic metals, human waste, solid waste dumping, industrial and agricultural
chemicals are main pollutants, and that due to poor enforcement, the river may not
support aquatic life (UNEP Pollution Assessment Report 2000). Political, economic,
social and environmental issues are all facets that need attention if the Nairobi River
Basin is to be managed in a sustainable manner and Nairobi Dam revived.

Natural Resources
The most immediate threats to Kenya's forests are subsistence activities and agricultural
expansion. In recent years conflicts between forest squatters and police have escalated
as the government tries to crack down on deforestation. In 2005, the government evicted
10,000-50,000 families from the edge of the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley as part of its
campaign to protect the country's natural resources.

Oil exploration
Early in 2006 Chinese President Hu Jintao signed an oil exploration contract with Kenya;
the latest in a series of deals designed to keep Africa's natural resources flowing to
China's booming economy.

The deal allowed for China's state-controlled offshore oil and gas company, CNOOC
Ltd., to prospect for oil in Kenya, which is just beginning to drill its first exploratory wells
on the borders of Sudan and Somalia and in coastal waters. No oil has been produced
yet, and there has been no formal estimate of the possible reserves.

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