Our work revolves around our year length set of programs that include Environmental conservation and governance, Training and Capacity building, Social safe guards, Advocacy and networking. mobilization, which we carry out throughout the year.

Environmental Conservation/Tree Planting

 1.Environmental Stewardship

Tree Nursery Husbandry

CFEA seeks to empower communities with organizational and tree nursery management skills for reforestation purposes. Community participation in reforestation efforts is critical for the survival of the trees and the protection of reforested areas. There are five sites in the Rift Valley where this service is currently underway.

  1. Reforestation and Land Reclamation

The NGO participates in reforestation and tree planting exercises in different parts of the country. We are actively involved in encouraging farmers to plant trees on their farms.  Our focus has been to encourage planting of traditional trees and thousands of trees have been planted.

  1. Wetlands and Watershed Ecosystem Management

 Among the communities that we work with, we promote sustainable utilization of wetlands for the benefit of individuals and the community.

Very few wetlands are not currently being utilised by people in some way. Wetland management should be adapted to specific local circumstances, sensitive to local cultures and respectful of traditional uses. Management therefore is not a universal concept that can be broadly applied; rather, it needs to be adapted to suit local conditions.

CIVIC & ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

The objective of this program is to instill the goals and values of environmentalism and peace, promoting by promoting awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills development and participation toward the resolution of environmental issues and problems.

  •      Awareness

Helping student acquire an awareness and sensitivity to the total environment and its problems; developing the ability to perceive and discriminate among stimuli; process, refine and extend these perceptions; and use this new ability in a variety of contexts.

  •       Knowledge

Helping students acquire a basic understanding of how the environment functions, how people interact with the environment, and how issues and problems dealing with the environment arise and how they can be resolved.

  •     Attitudes

Helping students acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment and the motivation and commitment to participate in environmental maintenance and improvement.

  •      Skills Development

Helping students acquire the skills need to identify, investigate, and contribute to the resolution of environmental issues and problems. · Participation: Helping students acquire experience in using their acquired knowledge and skills in taking thoughtful, positive action toward the resolution of environmental issues and problems.

  •      Participation

Helping students acquire experience in using their acquired knowledge and skills in taking thoughtful, positive action toward the resolution of environmental issues and problems.

Environmental Conservation and Tree Planting

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE WATCH

We advocate for a better disposal of toxic wastes approved in accordance with Kenyan laws and supported by all stakeholders. Our associates have extensive knowledge on lead waste management making the NGO a leader in this field.

Since 2008, Centre for Environmental Action (CEA) primary focus has been advocacy work against industrial polluters particularly secondary lead smelters. These illicit crude operators usually masquerade as scrap metal dealers. The organization has conducted several workshops for local authorities as well as for general public to raise awareness on the dangers of heavy metal wastes. We have lobbied for industries to adhere to the letter, to the laid down regulations on industrial waste disposal and continue to demand ‘policing’ by NEMA to ensure that the said regulations are enforced.

We have organized workshops for local authority officers, community awareness forums and Public complaints committees on environmental pollution.

Efforts to Combat Lead Poisoning in Eastern Africa

CEA has over the years made great strides in the effort to control increasing incidences of lead pollution and contamination and hasten awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning.

We have been engaged in a campaign against illegal and unlicensed lead smelters in Kenya since April 2008. This campaign also involves public education and awareness on the hazardous nature of lead and the need to regulate and control its use.

The efforts have been largely successful in unearthing illegal smelters who use crude equipment and engage in smelting without required licenses for such operations. These crude smelters are a dangerous lot who have very little concern for public health and environmental degradation.

They mainly operate at night and the workers are generally unaware of the consequences of their exposure to the highly toxic lead fumes from the operations. Because of poor policing practices within the government particularly NEMA which is mandated by law to police environmental pollution and degradation, these crude operators have been getting off the hook, and making money at the expense of public health.

Since our campaign began, we have been able to engage the Kenyan government through the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources on issues of lead pollution and contamination of our soils and waters leading to extensive cases of lead poisoning among children and adults.  The main culprits are generally secondary lead smelters that have spouted all over the country established by small time investors whose interest is primarily to extract much needed metals for export market.

Lead is a very toxic metal and has been banned for use in many areas where it was traditionally used. Such items like water pipes were manufactured using lead. Lead was also used in early days in the creation of an alloy called pewter which was a combination of tin and lead. Pewter was used to manufacture cooking pots, tableware, kegs and milk cans in the early twentieth century. This usage has since been outlawed due to increased knowledge of the negative health effects of lead poisoning. Diseases such as plumber’s disease were directly linked to lead poisoning.

There was also a time when gasoline production used lead as an octane rating booster that allowed engine compression to be raised substantially. The emissions from vehicles using this gasoline were so toxic that its use was banned globally.

There have been other usages of lead in the manufacture of toys, jewellery and some cosmetic products that are been fought by environmentalists and health professionals. Even the use of lead in paints has also come under heavy criticism for the same reasons and the world is moving into lead free products. Today only a few items continue to demand lead in their manufacture. There is still demand for lead in the manufacture of certain ammunitions including bullets and automotive batteries (lead Acid Batteries). The demand for these two items is high and therefore the lead-demand continues to grow. In the London Metal Exchange lead prices are high as many countries  outlaw mining of lead and strictly control secondary lead reclamation industries.

At the UN level, the UNEP Basel Convention, which all of the East African Community member states are signatories, restricted Transboundary movement of hazardous waste that include spent lead acid batteries. It also proscribed an international standard for the recycling of such hazardous waste. Unfortunately none of the existing laws and regulations in the EAC region comes close to the approved Basel Convention’s “Technical Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Lead Acid Batteries”.

There is need to campaign that these guidelines are adopted by the EAC as a region.

In our campaigns in Kenya, there have been several knee-jerk reactions by the state either to de-register a particular lead smelter or to seek compliance with national law. But these reactions do not deter operators who are making huge profits dealing with lead. We have found that a lack of a clear and implementable national policy on lead smelting and the disposal of toxic hazardous waste materials is largely the culprit. There is therefore a need for policy advocacy with regard to toxic and hazardous materials.

We also are aware, that some of those firms that have been shut down in Kenya generally do not leave EAC. They mutate – changing their operating names - and register as a new “investors” in Tanzania or Uganda. They then continue with their pollution unabated until they are in trouble with the law. They then move to the next place leaving behind a wake of human suffering, diseases, poverty and polluted resources.

 Commitment

1.Our lead advocacy program has the following objects:

2.To increase public awareness of the risks of lead contamination and pollution through the secondary lead smelters.
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Wetland Rehabilitation

Wetland Rehabilitation includes:

  • Active works to improve wetland function such as weed removal, rubbish removal, replacement of plant types that have been lost from the plant community.
  • The maintenance of the wetland in good condition, or avoiding degradation of a wetland, for example by fencing out stock.

Rehabilitating wetlands involves identifying the natural processes of the wetland and minimising or decreasing threatening activities. Any works undertaken to improve the status of a wetland should be simple and introduced slowly so that a minimum amount of disturbance occurs.

A rehabilitation exercise should involve:

  • Assessment of existing condition;
  • Identification of the wetland’s water source;
  • Identification of the water regime of the wetland in terms of seasonality, frequency and duration of inundation, etc.; and
  • consideration of the activities which need to be undertaken to rehabilitate the wetland.

Activities may include:

  • ceasing grazing in the wetland;
  • slashing or mowing firebreaks around wetlands which are not grazed;
  • control pest animals and plants; and
  • blocking drains that drain water from or divert polluted water to the wetland.

CEA works with local communities to encourage protection of wetlands through better farming methods, reduction of pollutants into the wetland and controlling human activities that degrade or subverts its ecosystem. Our Objective is to support farmers to engage in sustainable agriculture that conserves our wetlands and water sources and also protects our soils.

We have participated in various wetland management forums including:

  • Lake Naivasha stakeholders’ Forum
  • Friends of Lake Nakuru

 Forest (Environmental Rehabilitation)

Training / Capacity Building in Industries for better environmental planning and management

CFEA has been involved in capacity building both at community environmental awareness levels and also at institutional and corporate levels. Our environmental educators have worked with among others local government authorities, Residence Associations, Professional Groups etc to increase competencies in environmental planning.

Advocacy & Networking

The Centre has performed several community environmental awareness exercises. Because the communities are largely lacking on matters of environment protection and existing instruments and regulations on environmental management, we sensitize them on the importance of the same.

Being the custodians of environmental protection laws and regulations, our work has also involved working with elected officials of local county councils.

Community Mobilization for Environmental Dialogue

Through community mobilization, the NGO advocates for the communities to reduce , reuse and recycle their waste as well as linking waste management to community health.

 

The NGO has worked with many communities in:

  • Waste Management. We advocate for the communities to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.
  • Tree planting and reforestation. Through these efforts, the communities have planted thousands of trees.
  • Water Management. Our work has involved encouraging communities’ engagement in the provision of clean safe water including water harvesting.

Of particular significance has been our assignments linking waste management to community health.

 

Our community mobilization efforts have realized:

- Enhanced community awareness of pertinent environmental issues affecting them.

- Improved sensitization about community health and community participation in other matters that affect them.

Environmental Impact Assessments

It is important that all development policies, programs and projects take environmental considerations into account. We provide objective independent impact assessment reports for any project prior to implementation.

Our work in Environmental Impact Assessments aims to prevent, reduce and offset any adverse impacts of any development project in the country.

We assess the present environment without the project, and the likely impact of the project on the environment, when it is completed.

This service is crucial in view of the fact that the Kenyan community at large is always at a loss in terms of deterioration of living environment that accompanies industrial development.

Benefits of doing an Environmental Impact Assessment include:

  • It predicts the environmental consequences (impacts) of any development project.
  • Potential problems are foreseen and addressed at an early stage in project planning & design.
  • Find ways and means to reduce adverse impacts.
  • Shape project to suit local environment.
  • Present the predictions and options to the decision-makers.
  • Regulatory measures are taken based on the environmental assessment.
  • It provides a rational approach to sustainable development.

TRAINING
Training is an important part of CEA, training is done to the following groups
Primary level students to
College level students and the
Community at large.

Conservation is not only about planting trees but also protecting them from wanton destruction. We do this because everyone of us has a mandate of caring for the environment at every level, the sooner the children become aware of their surrounding the better.

At all these levels we are reminded that conservation of the environment is not just about flora and fauna, rather even our immediate surrounding areas and in these we engage with the community to ensure that they mage and keep their near living quarters tidy and clean.

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