Protect wetlands to sustain water points, life, expert advises

There are fears that most wetlands points within Migori County risk disappearing in the next few years unless concerted efforts are put in place by all stakeholders.

Experts say that the kind of farming, urban development and the general human activities taking place within the region were exposing river sources and wetlands to the dangers of extinction.

Environmental expert Prof. Wilson Midamba points out that although developent is measured by the status of infrustractures like roads, sewerage systems, houses, power plants, airports, communication and water lines, the same was a recipe for messing up with the general environment if not handled with care.

Prof. Midamba ruled that all was not good within Migori County since most water catchment points had been seriously interfered with through irresponsible upland farming, erecting of human residential and business structures.

He cited River Migori as one of the all-weather source of water that is facing a greater danger of disintegration following the kind of structures being put up along its banks.

Prof. Midamba’s warning came even as Kenya joined other countries in celebrating the World Wetlands Day on Friday.

He expressed concern that the local population had totally ignored the laws that prohibit farming or building structures right into the rivers or water catchment areas.

This is one county where you will find people growing crops and building houses up to the river banks unperturbed. The end result is serious siltation of water bodies and blockade of river sources, he said.

Heavy forest destruction, especially by farmers looking for tons of wood fuel for curing green tobacco leafs in kilns, is another serious danger facing wetlands in the region.

Prof. Midamba urged the local law enforcement urgencies and especially the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to double efforts in educating the masses on the importance of protecting the wetlands and think of prosecuting those who flout the existing laws intentionally.

Source: Kenya News Agency