Photo: Environment and Natural Resources CS Judy Wakhungu (Right) holding United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification Strategy(UNCCD).

17th June,2017: Every year on 17 June, The World commemorates the day to Combat Desertification. It is a day that serves to strengthen the global effort to face the challenges of desertification in all the regions of the world. It is also a day to reflect on the impacts of desertification – the gradual loss of fertility of lands – on the lives of the people inhabiting the world’s drylands.

The theme for this year’s celebrations was “Conserving Our Land for Sustainable Livelihoods” and the slogan is “Our Land – Our Home – Our Future “

Prof Wakhungu who was speaking during the World Day to Combat Desertification in Hulahula,Marsabit County said that Marsabit region like other arid and semi-arid areas of the country, experienced severe drought due to increased aridity as a result of Land degradation in Marsabit Mountain.

The CS pointed out that deforestation, illegal charcoal burning, unsustainable agricultural practices, inappropriate sand harvesting and other activities led to unsustainable production systems thereby causing food shortages.

“Unsustainable conservation strategies like Overstocking,destruction of wetlands and deforestation slowly pushes communities to state of despair and suffering” Say’s Wakhungu.

Wakhungu praised Marsabit County government and non-state actors, for improving people’s livelihoods through improved food production systems, value addition, promotion of agro-forestry and appropriate technologies. The outreach programs had helped the local communities in fighting Desertification.

September, 2016 Was the begin of the most severe drought ever witnessed in Northern Kenya,Marsabit where over 60% livestock were lost due to drought.

The understanding of the extent and causes of this phenomenon – “desertification”, however incomplete, is by far now too clear for the global community to ignore. The graphic talk of marching sand dunes and expanding deserts distract attention from the real problem – the continuing human impact of the degradation of the dry lands on the millions of desperate people facing hunger and despair.

Addressing the residents of Marsabit county Proff,Wakhungu said that her ministry has already set Environmental Policy e.g Ban of polythen bags (Gazette Notice 2356) due to its effects to livestocks and wildlife, the policies will strengthen sectoral mandates and roles in ensuring sound enviroCSental planning and management.

However Karare Ward County assembly representative Lochuku Arigelle said Mount Marsabit forest will only be conserved if human and livestock can get water outside the forest. He asked the relevant authorities protect the forest by erecting a fence around the forest.

He added that marsabit mountain has a lot of water that can easily be tapped for human consumption, and for the forest.