Earlier today, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga receiving his certificate of recognition for his activities in environmental conservation from Green Hand Organization officials at his offices at Capitol Hill Square in Upper Hill Nairobi.
By Raila Odinga
Forests are fundamental sources of wealth of this Nation. Their conservation and use are therefore critical to the survival of our nation.
But these natural resources are in danger of exhaustion and extinction if we permit the old wasteful methods of exploiting them to continue.
That is why I got involved in the Mau in particular and our water towers in general. To date, I remain proud of the work we did, the care with which we did it and the benefits it conferred on our people.
No nation can ever hope to develop without conservation. Every step of the progress of mankind has been marked by the discovery and skillful use of natural resources previously unused.
The prosperity of our people depends directly on the energy and intelligence with which our natural resources are used. It is equally clear that these resources are the final basis of national power and perpetuity. Finally, it is ominously evident that these resources are in the course of rapid exhaustion.
Our Constitution and Vision 2030 envisages a right to a clean environment. That calls for the wise use of all of our natural resources, which are our national resources as well.
We cannot conserve our forests and other natural resources without foresight.
Conservation is about the future of the nation. Those who believe only in the present time and who work only for themselves will never do conservation work. That is the lot that politicized the Mau and shed crocodile tears over it. That is the lot wiping out our wildlife that has made this nation the talk of the world for generations.
That is why it is refreshing to see young people taking it upon themselves to conserve what they feel is going to waste in the hands of a reckless and leaderless generation. I am proud of the work of Green Hand Organisation and ready to be associated with you.
In the era of Devolution, local people must be given more control over forests and water resources. Management of forests should be left to the governors and their county governments. The National government should concentrate on generating policies.
When local people control their forests and their water resources, they are more likely to conserve and use them sustainably. This is one of the demands the governors want to take to the referendum and I agree with them.