Environment: Our health, our wealth
For many years our natural environment has been neglected and abused to such high level as to cause changes in the general climatic formula. In this simple language, the party wishes to express concern over the change in rain pattern and temperatures. The high levels of pollution in our urban and rural areas, soil erosion, severe deforestation, loss of biodiversity and unplanned settlements are living examples of low concern for environmental management. Kenya’s forest cover is estimated at 1.7 percent against the international standard of 10 percent. The international percentage is fixed to assist states and governments avoid environmental degradation that can be suicidal to humankind. It is advised that forest cover be much higher than the 10 percent. A well-managed environment is a promoter of health and wealth creation in a country. It is now evident that deforestation and the abuse on the envirnment has resulted in increased malaria incidents in the Kenyan highlands, other causes and factors notwithstanding. Deforestation has destroyed water catchments and caused drying of rivers and lakes. Lakes such as Nakuru, Naivasha, Elementaita and Turkana are drying up. Droughts have become perennial disasters while every rainfall in Kenya causes unwarranted floods that rob the citizens of their lives, health and wealth.
FORD-Asili will undertake to sensitise all Kenyans to understand that our environment is an indispensable ingredient for every individual’s and national health and wealth. The party will formulate environmental policies that will accelerate environmental restoration and sustainable management in all sectors of the economy. We will provide guidance, incentives, planning and regulation for sound environmental management by the public and private sector; non-governmental organizations and the general public. We will further address the following specific areas:
Afforestation and Reforestation
The party realizes that Kenya’s forest cover is far below the minimum international standard of 10 percent. We shall therefore embark on an aggressive afforestation and reforestation campaign to attain the required minimum although we are convinced that in the same period it is easy to double that minimum requirement cover by 2017. The party is committed to conducting environmental research to determine the optimum forest cover for Kenya. Our campaign will have the clarion call “Clean, Green Kenya”. It will be government driven and community managed for optimum impact and community ownership. It will be our aim to oversee diverse vegetation cover along all roads and waterways in the country including homesteads.
Urban water cleansing programme
Majority of our people have lost trust and confidence in the urban water management and supply because of the many water borne diseases that have afflicted them. The people have therefore resulted to bottled water that costs them heavily. In this case water has become an attractive industry with many unscrupulous businessmen who do not care for health but their own personal wealth. The water borne diseases that people originally escaped from by going for bottled water now come bottled with the water. More than that, the millions of used plastic water bottles litter every space and eventually end up adding to the environmental plastic load.
We shall provide all Kenyans with potable water by 2025. We will embark on urban water cleansing programmes implemented by the respective urban authorities and the water services boards. We will promote the use of water harvesting and saving technologies to minimize the cost of portable water supply.
Hydropower industrial initiative
Most of the Kenyan rivers have natural waterfalls that can be source of easy hydropower generation. In any case hydropower is
one of the clean energy systems that the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) Programme of the World Bank champions. The party will promote the use of hydropower for rural and urban industrial energy supply. To improve the economy of hydropower generation, we shall encourage establishment of multipurpose hydropower dams that will also be used for water supply as well as fresh water fish farming and tourism.
Fishery Dams and Tourist Pavilion Spread
Fish farming is an agricultural activity well suited to the Kenyan environment but is poorly utilized. It also has potential for increased domestic and foreign tourism, food security and income generation. We will promote fish farming for improvement of the environment; animal feed industries and diversification of income and protein base.