The Migori County Commissioner (CC), Joseph Rotich on Tuesday put on notice all residents who have encroached onto water catchment areas and river banks to leave immediately or face forceful eviction.
Rotich said that all land and water bodies were government property and people should keep distance from water towers and river banks, ‘whether they sit on or cross your land.’
He directed chiefs and all state enforcement agencies to enforce the directive by arresting those who will defy the order, which he said takes effect from yesterday.
Rotich issued the ultimatum when he led the county to mark this year’s World Environment Day in Migori Town.
The CC specifically expressed concern at the pollution taking place in river Migori and asked the County Government leadership and the national environment management authority (NEMA) to evoke the necessary legal acts to save the river.
At the same time, he announced that the national government will in collaboration with all stakeholders plant over 5 million tree seedlings in the area within the next six months to increase forest cover from the current four percent.
He said through partnership with County Governments and all the 43,000 Primary and Secondary schools in the country, they look forward to achieving this to help conserve the environment.
Efforts would also be directed towards cleaning and protecting the shores of Lake Victora and rivers from pollution by toxic wastes emitted from thousands of juakali sheds and homes and institutions, he said.
Rotich noted that the Government was committed to taking a proactive position to check adverse environmental degradation currently dogging the region.
He said rivers were decreasing their water volumes and forest cover was fast diminishing, adding that the destruction of water catchment areas resulted from either siltation or massive deforestation.
It would be important if everyone in this area planted a tree. Plant one and it will be useful to not only you, but also to water catchment, he added.
Source: Kenya News Agency