Desertification refers to the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations.
The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed annually every 17th day of June since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat Desertification, Land degradation and Reduce the effect of drought (DLDD).
The day raises awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlights ways of preventing the spread of deserts and recovering from drought.
The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) coordinates the preparatory and commemoration process. The process is done through a National Steering Committee (NSC) composed of government and non-governmental players. National Water Harvesting & Storage Authority (NWHSA) was selected as a member of the National steering committee.
This year, the main event took place at the Makindu Railways Ground, Kibwezi West Sub-County, Makueni County. It was marked with the following key activities culminating in the celebration of the day.
Clean up exercise involved Makindu town and its environs, done through mobilization of event stakeholders and awareness of the residents in the area. University student environment clubs played a key role in the exercise held on Saturday (15th June 2019)
Tree planting encompassed distribution and planting of over 7,000 drought resistant species to schools in Makindu sub county on Sunday 16th June 2019 and Monday morning the 17th of June 2019.
This year’s celebrations marked the 25th Anniversary under the theme, “let’s grow the future together”. The Chief Guest was the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko. He was represented by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mr Mohammed Elmi. Also in attendance was Hon. Kivutha Kibwana-Governor; Mukueni County, CEOs of government agencies and non-governmental agencies.
National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) was proud to sponsor and partner with the NEMA and other stakeholders in the event. The Authority donated a 10,000 litre tank in line with its mandate of water harvesting and storage and exhibited during the event.
By: DENNIS OSORO, Senior Chemist
National Steering Committee Member
24th June, 2019