On Thursday 20th July 2023, Kilfi. Today CS Alice Wahome officially inaugurated the Water Sector Training for Environment and Land Court Judges. Steeped in the theme “The Water Dialogue: Water Governance and Emerging Environmental Issues,” this three-day training marks a pivotal step towards empowering honorable judges for fair and effective adjudication of water-related disputes.
In his opening remarks, amidst an aura of anticipation, Hon. Justice (Dr.) Smokin Wanjala, Judge of The Supreme Court and Director, of Kenya Judiciary Academy said that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 heralded a new beginning, in which economic and social rights, including the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities, secured legal protection in Kenya.
“It is in the actualization of this edict that we seek and are privileged to receive valuable knowledge on all facets of this right, for the court to effectively execute its mandate, as a protector and promoter of environmental conservation and sustainability for the current and future generations”, noted Hon. Justice (Dr.) Wanjala.
The Presiding Judge of the Environment and Land Court (ELC) Hon. Justice Oscar Angote reiterated that the ELC embraced a proactive approach to engage and involve various parties, including government agencies, local communities, civil society organizations, legal professionals, and experts in relevant fields to foster open dialogue, promote understanding, and build trust among diverse groups.
“The ELC plays a significant role in unlocking sustainable solutions to the water issues faced by Kenya. As a specialized judicial institution, the court’s unique jurisdiction and expertise allow it to address water-related challenges with precision, and fairness, with a focus on environmental conservation. Partnerships between the court and the public cultivate a shared responsibility to protect our water resources, ensuring a water-secure future for Kenya.” Added hon. Justice Angote.
In her remarks, the CS said that she is privileged to dialogue and provide a deeper understanding of the Sector to the Environment and Land Court Judges who are very crucial stakeholders in the implementation of Sustainable and Sanitation water service provision.
“The Judiciary is expected to resolve disputes in a just manner with a view to protecting the rights and liberties of all, thereby facilitating the attainment of the rule of law. This understanding will assist you in handling matters placed before you. It will also help you in appreciating the effects/implications of some of the decisions already made.” Said CS. Wahome.
During the training, various perspectives such as water as a catalyst to economic development shall be under discussion. Participants will also interrogate the interplay and interface of various institutions and players in the water sector. In the crucible of dialogue, the training shall also discuss the environmental issues arising from water resources development projects and emerging issues such as formulation and operationalization of bulk water services. There will also be a dialogue on intergovernmental relations with a specific reference to the Water Sector.
In the wake of this momentous training, the nation’s aspirations are reignited, akin to a gentle stream that meanders through the landscape of hope and dreams. The Water Sector Training for Environment and Land Court Judges, under the visionary leadership of the Judiciary and CS Alice Wahome, embodies the fusion of justice, sustainability, and progress. With hearts emboldened and minds enriched, these judges will stand ready to ensure fair and effective adjudication of water-related disputes, safeguarding our most precious resource for generations yet to come.
The event was graced by the presence of Water Secretary Eng. SAO Alima and AWWDA CEO Eng. Michael M. Thuita, MBS, among others ignited a sense of solidarity and determination in this pursuit of environmental and land justice.