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State to spend Sh15m on river in Eldoret town

BUSIA
By | March 21st 2011

By VITALIS KIMUTAI

The Government has embarked on a programme to rehabilitate the Sosiani River running through Eldoret Town Central Business District (CBD) at a cost of Sh15 million.

It becomes the second river running through a major town to be rehabilitated in the country after the Nairobi River.

Environment Minister, John Michuki, unveiled the programme, which will also involve relocating the dumpsite in Huruma Estate to Kipkenyo.

The minister directed the local municipal council to ensure the dumpsite is cleared in two weeks time.

In the ambitious programme, 100,000 indigenous trees would be planted along the 26km stretch of the river.

"We are going to rehabilitate the river, which has been degraded from the source and polluted downstream. Its existence has been threatened by industrial waste dumping and population explosion," Michuki said at the weekend.

He said 300 local youth would be involved in the rehabilitation, while the local municipal council is expected to fully enforce its environmental by laws, which include felling down of eucalyptus trees along river banks.

He directed the town’s planning department to ensure developers were not allowed to use stones mined from the river for construction.

"It should be made clear to private developers that the quarrying along river banks is illegal, and those who use such stones for construction would have their approved development plans revoked," Michuki said.

The minister was speaking in Eldoret in the company of the ministry’s Assistant Minister, Margaret Kamar, PS Mohamed Ali, Deputy Mayor, Ursula Ngeny, and Deputy Town Clerk, Joseph Koech.

Michuki said the population of 39 million in the country compared to 9 million in 1963 had exerted a lot of pressure on natural resources in the quest for economic growth.

"Our forest cover stands at less than two per cent, which is far below the 10 per cent recommended by the United Nations. The high rate of deforestation is one of the greatest challenges facing Kenya," Michuki said.

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