Kenya Wildlife Service
Kenya Wildlife Service

Kenyan wildlife conservationist on Friday denounced environmental degradation in the East African country.

Paula Kahumbu, chief executive officer of WildlifeDirect, attributed the environmental degradation across the country to human activity.

“Our ecosystems are exposed to a range of threats, including loss of natural habitats due to changes in land use, uncontrolled exploitation of plants, animals and marine resources, climate change, pollution and invasions of alien species,” Kahumbu told Xinhua in Nairobi.

The conservationist urged the government to act fast, adding that animal migrations that have been a feature of Kenya’s landscape for thousands of years are collapsing.

“Rivers are drying up, fish are dying in the lakes, forests are burning and the magnificent coral reefs are diminishing too,” she said.

She observed that farms and pastoral lands are becoming less productive, as devastating droughts are followed by catastrophic floods.

“Our ecosystems are at breaking point and if we let them die we will have no chance of meeting key Sustainable Development Goals for the elimination of poverty and hunger, and achieving Kenya Vision 2030,” said Kahumbu.

The conservationist noted that more than 2,000 tons of solid wastes are dumped daily in rivers in the city of Nairobi alone and cancer is rapidly becoming a major cause of sickness and death in the country.

She appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare an ecological emergency in Kenya as an urgent measure to avert this looming catastrophe.

According to Kahumbu, the development of a strategy jointly with the academic institutions and other organizations require engagement with stakeholders across economic, social, political and technological groups.

“Reversing the trajectory of ecosystem collapse will not be easy but it can and must be done if Kenya is to thrive,” said Kahumbu.

She noted that it is important that protected areas, saving endangered wildlife species, sustainable management of plantation forests and pastoral lands be given priority.

“We must ensure that water, marine and coastal life habitats are restored besides adoption of renewable energy, sanitation and waste recycling,” she added. Enditem



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