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Kenyan Government neglecting our expertise; environmentalists lament

By Graham Kajilwa | Jan 30th 2016 | 2 min read

Nairobi: Experts in environment conservation have lamented that the national and county governments are not incorporating their research policies and recommendations into the ongoing development projects.

The experts led by former Nairobi County Chief Officer Environment Dr Leah Oyake decried that unlike other countries where governments adopt research policies of their scholars, Kenya is yet to take up such framework.

Despite the heavily funded researches earning them doctorate degrees, many end up being stashed in libraries as the government is reluctant to take up their recommendations.

“Instead our expertise is utilised to provide solutions to our neighbouring countries but that is not the same state in our own country,” said Oyake in a forum organised by alumni of Kenyan environmental researchers who studied at the Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Lack of adoption of these policies is said to have led to different researchers coming up with individual approaches in sustaining the environment which causes disharmony in programmes that have a common goal.

"A simple task of recycling garbage has troubled the city because multiple agencies are coming up with their own solutions. We already have numerous solutions, what we need is the government to provide a prompt direction," said Oyake.

In the forum, both the national and county governments have been bashed for paying millions for feasibility studies to come up with policies on simple programmes yet the country is flooded with enough experts.

Citing the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), conservationist Dr Benson Okita who works with 'Save the Elephants' organization criticised the government for proceeding with the project that will be passing through the Nairobi national park despite caution on its impact on tourism sector.

Tourism contributes about Sh500 billion (10 percent) to the country's Gross Domestic product with 75 percent of this coming from wildlife. Already the space on wildlife is shrinking due to expansion of urban centres for trade.

"As much as trade is set to increase GDP, the inverse is already happening to the tourism sector. There is need for the government to marry conservation programmes with development as leaders do not take cognisance of natural resources," he advised.

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