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Act now to reverse environmental degradation

By Editorial | Published Thu, February 22nd 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 21st 2018 at 19:19 GMT +3

In the last few years, the change in weather patterns has been so great; it can hardly go unnoticed. What many have taken for granted all along is raising serious concerns today. In the past, farmers in given areas could prepare their farms with assuredness, and rains would come at the projected time; not any more.

Not even the weatherman is able to give accurate predictions on weather, and that is the price we have to pay for environmental degradation. Greed for money has led to massive deforestation.

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The search for more arable land has led to human invasion of forests and destruction of water catchment areas. Today, rivers that have never been affected by seasons are running dry and very soon, unless drastic measures are taken, protection of scarce water resources could turn into hostilities.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has issued an alert that the destruction of forests is responsible for the reduction in river levels and the long dry spells.

At best NEMA has been lacklustre in enforcing environmental protection measures, choosing instead to be reactionary. While unblocking the clogged sewage system in a town like Nairobi would make sense now, it will not be surprising to see NEMA come alive after floods wreak havoc.

Political expediency has also led to destruction of forests like the Mau. Currently, our forest cover stands at barely 6 percent, way below the United Nations recommended 10 percent. The time to start damage control in earnest is now.