Sustainable management of riparian areas in Kenya:a critique of the inadequacy of the legislative framework governing the protection of sustainable management of riparian zones in Kenya
Riparian area is a critical component that holds several benefits to the environment as it essential for high water streams, rivers, lakes and along shorelines. However, riparian area has remained relatively unprotected from poor agricultural practices, residential and commercial construction, landscaping and logging. In Kenya, however, the law on riparian zone protection is not in a piece of a single legislation, the law is fragmented in numerous pieces of legislations like Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) 1999, the Water Quality Regulations (WQR) (2006), Water Resources Management Rules (WRMR) (2007), the Agricultural Act (Cap318), Forest Act, 2005, the Land Act 2012, the Water Act, 2002 and the Wildlife (Conservation and Management) Act 2013 presenting a problem of overlapping mandates and lack of coordination in enforcement. There are several acts that deal with the management of riparian area, even with the many acts and policy papers governing the activities and resource use that are within the riparian area, sustainable management of these areas has not been achieved. Further sustainable management of riparian areas has not been a key objective of this legislation which is oriented towards limited and specific activities with no clear policy framework in which to apply the legislation and for the approval and enforcement. There is lack of clear approval and enforcement agencies for the protection of the riparian area and further lack of Geographical Information System of data for the effective and sustainable management of riparian areas. This has presented a big problem for the preservation, protection and management of riparian areas which are endowed with a number of natural resources that need to be protected through a better and effective system of management.
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