The Environment and Land Court is leading from the front on matters of environment conservation with two public clean up exercises lined up for Kwale and Diani at the Coastal region beginning today. Under the theme ‘bringing purity and cleanliness to nature’ the court will in the next two days beginning today, conduct a cleaning exercise and replanting of tree seedlings.
The Court will begin at the Kwale High Court building and proceed to Kwale main prison grounds where 3500 tree seedlings will be planted.
On Saturday, the Environment and Lands Court heads to Diani for a clean-up exercise at the beach, a public awareness and exhibition at ABSA bank grounds.
Some of the supporters of the two-day exercise include the National Environmental Management Authority NEMA, the Kenya Wildlife Service KWS, Kenya Forest Service KFS, Base Titanium and the Kwale County Government.
The Environment and Land Court is a superior court established by Article 162(2) of the Constitution of Kenya, and was established to hear and determine disputes relating to the environment and the use and occupation of, and title to land.
The court has powers to deal with disputes relating to land administration and management and is also empowered to hear cases relating to public, private and community land and contracts.
The court exercises appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of subordinate courts and local tribunals in respect to matters falling within its jurisdiction, including National Land Commission, Business Premises Rent Tribunal, Rent Restriction Tribunal, National Environment Tribunal, Cooperative Tribunal (in as far as the dispute relates to land).
The exercise takes place just a day after President elect William Ruto appointed two judges for the Environment court. Ruto signed a gazette notice, appointing Judge Evans Makori and Lady Justice Judith Omange, who were sworn in a day after the president’s inauguration.
Some of the issues that the court has had to deal with include issues of illegal land acquisition and lack of a follow through in the prosecution of the big corporations who pollute the environment.