Kakamega launches the first County State of Environment Report

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The Kakamega County State of Environment Report (SoE) 2012]  is the first county SoE Report to be prepared under the devolved governance system in the country.

“It is hoped that this report, being the first for Kakamega County, shall provide an invaluable input and comprehensively inform policy and planning in Kakamega County, and therefore contribute to the environmental sustainability for humanity,” said Wycliffe Oparanya, Governor of Kakamega.

“… this report will act as a source of information for the sustainable development of this County, noting that it is a biodiversity hot spot and endowed with a rich variety of natural resources which require sustainable exploitation to benefit the citizens in an equitable manner,” noted the Director General of NEMA, Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu

A team of technical officers from the lead government agencies and representatives of civil society, including Nature Kenya, prepared the SoE report. They played central roles in the preparation, validation and editing of the Report with support from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) planning directorate, which is in charge of SoEs development nationally.

The SoE Report gives the status of environmental concerns in respect of all the sectors in development and economic contributions to Kakamega County. The objectives for SoE Reporting are to:

  • Assess and consolidate environmental data from diverse sources using known environmental indicators and analyze the data to determine whether environmental quality is improving, deteriorating or remains the same;
  • Assess whether policies, laws, programmes and other actions are having the desired effect on the environment;
  • Identify emerging environmental issues and address them accordingly;
  • Inform environmental policies and interventions;
  • Provide tangible environment issues backed by data for planning; and
  • Monitor the environment as flagged out in various policy statements.

On the launch of the SoE Report in June 2014, the Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya emphasized the need for lead agencies to internalize the use of identified indicators, through the development of strong institutional data generation and monitoring frameworks. He noted that: “The SoE therefore envisages, not only a one time environmental data gathering process, but a continuous environmental monitoring and data gathering process that will put the environment under constant watch and provide day to day data and information on environmental health and status”.

Nature Kenya, through funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF)/United Nations Development Program (UNDP), provided financial and technical support for the preparation of the Kakamega SoE. Nature Kenya provided most of the resources, which enabled the execution of all the activities from the writing to printing of the document. This support was acknowledged by the Director General of NEMA, who noted that “Nature Kenya has been our partner for many years and I am aware that they are helping us with the preparation of the County Environment Action Plan (CEAP) for Kakamega and the SoE for