Workshop Resolutions 1st March 2013

Kitui-Mwingi Parkside Motel, Kitui.

We, the representatives of Kitui County stakeholders (including civil society, Faith based organizations, government representatives from administration and government departments, met at the Kitui-Mwingi Parkside Motel, Kitui County, Kenya at the Consultative Workshop on Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources from 28th February 2013- 1ST March, 2013 to closely interrogate the needed actions towards sustainable utilization of existing natural resources in Kitui county;

Recognizing that known and yet to be known natural resources within the County have been documented–e.gthe 400 million tonnescoal deposits in Mui basin and limestone in Mutomodistrict, sand, natural forestset.c.- and others are yet to be documented;

Confident that the people of Kitui are capable of sustainably utilizing these resources for the development of the county and the nation state of Kenya as a whole

Aware that there are still lots of information on natural resources within the County lying either as research findings or documents in some institutions;

Bearing in mind that the population in the county is on the rise, which has in turn led to competition for the diminishing natural resources, and is compounded by the negative effects of human activities in the county e.g unmanaged sand harvesting and charcoal burning; leading to pressure on the resources and leading to high poverty rates, lack of access to social amenities among others;

Recognizing that the effects of climate change are  real and is affecting natural resources like sand, water resources, forests and the socio-economic growth in the county;

 Alarmed that environmental destruction occasioned by tree cutting for firewood and charcoal burning, rampant harvesting of sand from sand rivers is causing even more water scarcity due to the rivers drying up faster;

 Welcoming the fact that the constitution of Kenya 2010 has provided an enabling environment for dialogue, involvement and dialogue in the way natural resources are to be managed;

Noting with regret that there is also poor participation of communities towards sustainable utilization of the natural resources as is anticipated in the new constitutional dispensation.

 We therefore:

1.  Urge that latest technologies such as remote sensing and satellite technologies be applied to properly map all the natural resources in the County and effectively inform the people on the same;

2.  Call upon all stakeholders to endorse the spirit of collective action to realize people-sensitive policies and laws on natural resources within the County, and at the national level;

3.  Call upon the all the leaders(Governor, Senator, County representatives and their assistants, the administration, civil society and the faith based organizations) in the county to purposefully recognize the role of the citizens in realizing sustainable utilization of the resources in the county;

4. Demand continuous forums in the county on sustainable utilization of the available resources and discussions through various public forums, local FM stations, chief’s barazas, churches, mosques and other forums for citizens and stakeholder’s participation;

5.  Stress that local experts and communities be actively involved when investors or the state plans for the County’s natural resource management and utilization in line with the Constitution of Kenya (2010) article 69.

6.  Demand that all stated resources as stated in the Kenya constitution 2010; good percentage of revenue from natural resources from the locality be ploughed back to the community and are transparently managed to enable the improvement of peoples’ wellbeing, proper functioning of local government, administration, environmental restoration activities and address issues of lack of social amenities such as hospitals, good schools, water and good feeder roads among others, to ensure that the local communities benefit from the same; and

7. Demand that all county policies and by-laws must work towards sustainable development in the county, and enhance participation of the local communities in the policy processes and in the planning and implementation of all development initiatives in the county which is, in our collective thinking, a pre-requisite to sustainable development in the county.

8. In light of the biting climate change impacts to the livelihoods in the county, strongly urge the county government to support sustainable adaptation and mitigation measures through partnerships, with emphasis to water harvesting and storage, green economy initiatives and low carbon development initiatives.

God bless Kitui County; God bless us all.

Sponsors of the event were: The Government of Kenya-Office of the Prime Minister’s Climate Change Unit-, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, VSOJitolee, The Institute of Environment and Water Management, Caritas Kenya and the Kenya Climate Change Working Group and the Kitui County Forest, Water and Sand Conservation Association, KCFWSCA.