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Using Community Led Solutions to Solve Community Problems

 

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Christmas and New Year Message From Us!

 

To all our friends, stakeholders, and partners,

We wish all the good tidings of this holiday season, and thank you for your support. This is a special time of year to give thanks and to reflect on the accomplishments of 2018, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The new Forum continues to take shape, and our partners the Laikipia Tourism Association and the LAICONAR – Laikipia County Natural Resources Network, have already taken up residence at the Forum’s compound. They join the very active Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership here.

There are important revisions to the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act that impact the County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committees. We’ll give you an update early in the new year on the implications for our area.

With the addition of our new partners, the new Forum Board will hold its first meeting in 2019, forging a more Inclusive and representative conservation action network for the Greater Laikipia Landscape.

So from all our partners:

  • Laikipia Farmers Association
  • LAICONAR
  • MKEWP
  • County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee
  • Laikipia Association of Conservation Educators (LACE)
  • Laikipia Regional Conservancies
  • Oromat Lenabiosho Cooperative Society, and
  • Laikipia Tourism Association

We take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Peaceful Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Chairman

The Laikipia Forum

P.S. The Forum’s offices are closed for business between December 22 and January 7, 2019.

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More Crop for Each Drop

SNV farmer's field day

Farmers’ Field Day expose farmersto modern irrigation technology, profitable crops and maximizing water productivity on small parcels of lands.

‘Increasing water productivity’’ was the theme of the October’s Farmers’ Field Day held in Kiahuko Area, Naro Moru WRUA, Nyeri County.

The event organized by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) in partnership with SNV. It attracted 230 farmers from 19 Water Resources Users Associations (WRUAs) from Nyeri, Meru and Laikipia Counties.

The farmers were trained on irrigation technologies, water harvesting and storage, water abstraction, access to finance, as well as market-based approach in agriculture. The ultimate goal being  to maximize farm production with minimum water use.

A small-scale farmer, Mr Ephraim Kahenya and his wife, hosted the field day at their model farm in Nyeri County.  The family is a pioneer in water harvesting technology and they are great examples of how to harvest water and use it efficiently.

“Irrespective of being a farmer in a semi-arid zone of Nyeri County, Smart Water for Agriculture has improved my productivity and has diverted my mind away from over-reliance on rivers.” Says Mr Kahenya, adding, “Such field days are fundamental in offering farmers advice on the most suitable crops to grow with market and water conservation in mind.”

Mr Kahenya inspired other farmers with the possibility of a small-scale farmer making over a million shillings for the sale of garlic planted on 1/16 acre piece of land. “That’s how you increase water productivity: Make every drop count,” he told the farmers.

The series of farmers’ field days organized by MKEWP create awareness and build the capacity of the farmers to enable them to harness and use water resources better.

MKEWP supports activities in line with County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP) for the three counties of Nyeri, Meru and Laikipia. These Plans prioritize the adoption of modern farming methods as opposed to just rain-fed agriculture.

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Smart Water for Agriculture Fund to benefit farmers in the Upper Ewaso Basin

SNV

MKEWP Water Resources Specialist James Mwangi talks to SACCO officials during the workshop in Laikipia.

Forty local SACCOs met to learn about Irrigation Acceleration Platform and how their members can access the newly launched Smart Water For Agriculture (SWA) Fund to invest in sustainable solutions in small-scale farming.

The activity, organized by Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP), had the Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives Ltd (KUSSCO) talk to the local SACCOS. KUSSCO is a umbrella for cooperatives in Kenya.

KUSSCO are the custodians of the SWA fund provided by SNV. They trained the SACCOS on business linkages, access to finances for farming and service providers. SACCOs can now access the SWA Fund and obtain loans for their members who want to use drip kits for irrigation.

SNV

The workshop was organized by MKEWP through SNV’s Smart Water For Agriculture Program

As part of SNV’s goal to link farmers to sustainable water technologies, the SACCOs were also introduced to private service providers. Members can use the Fund to access money to buy irrigation kits from these providers.

MKEWP is the implementing partner for SNV’s Irrigation Accelerated Platform (IAP) in Laikipia County. They are a link between farmers and farming technologies that not only conserve water but also improve farm productivity.

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More Crop for a Drop of Water!

Farmers day,SNV

MKEWP: Farmers listen to an extension officer next to a water  pan during the Smart Water For Agriculture Field Day

“More Produce, Less Water” was the theme of September’s Farmers Field Day held in Nkando area, Laikipia County.

“Managing the scarce water resources: That’s what Smart Water For Agriculture is all about – farmers learning about how they can reap more crop for a drop of water.” SNVs Local Capacity Builder, Joyce Karimi, said.

The 5th edition of the Farmer’s Day was organized by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) and brought together over 25 exhibitors and 250 farmers from 15 Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) in the counties of Meru, Nyeri and Laikipia.

The event was hosted at a model farm owned by a small-scale farmer, Mr. Patrick Maina and his wife. They are water champions, who have really adopted best water practices.  Their farm provides experiential learning for farmers and is a success story in the Upper Ewaso basin.

Smart Water For Agriculture

Mr Maina engages with farmers on water conservation in small-scale farming

“If ¾ of us here today can adopt a roof harvesting system, we will take the pressure off our rivers. Users downstream will have something to drink,” says Mr. Maina, whose water pan collects over 2 million Cubic litres of rainwater.

Traversing through the farm, engaging with exhibitors, and talking with County Government extension officers, the farmers were trained on water harvesting and storage, drip irrigation technology, fish farming, poultry farming, dairy farming, conservation agriculture, and the application of green energy. .

The next Farmers Field day will be held on the 9th October 2018 in Naro Moru, Nyeri County.

Want to join MKEWP in its activities? Want to be a part of the next Farmers Field Day? Please contact MKEWP Water Resources Specialist, James Mwangi.

Email:  James.Mwangi@laikipia.org

Tel:  +254 746 607 181

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Water Crisis: MKEWP Meets to deliberate on Government’s Directive On Water Intake Permits

Mount kenya Ewaso Water Partnership

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership executive committee address the media after deliberations on way forward. From L: MKEWP Coordinator Mr Stanley Kirimi, Ngusishi WRUA Chair Mr Muthuri Muriithi and Committee member Christine Shikuku.

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership Executive Committee called for an urgent meeting to address the water crisis in the upper basin

The crisis, a result of a GOK directive to revoke all water intake permits, is the subject of great debate in the basin.  Following the directive, all abstractions from Mt. Kenya Rivers have been suspended with the exception of Nanyuki Water and Sewerage Company (NAWASCO) and water service providers linked to municipalities.

In the meeting, the executive committee acknowledged the implications of the directive and the severity of the situation to water users, especially those living in rural communities.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the MKEWP Coordinator, Mr. Stanley Kirimi, said that the Partnership supported the Government’s directive. “It is long overdue, there should be sanity and order in how we manage our natural resources. Mt. Kenya is a critical catchment for millions of people, their livestock and livelihoods.”

The Partnership includes over 30,000 households that have raised the alarm on how the directive has been executed.  “We support the directive, but our members and water users with valid permits are being harassed,” reads part of the statement.

Officers executing the directive have been urged to request for permits from water users before taking any action. “It is important they ask for these documents, to separate those with legal permits from those without valid documents,” said Mr, Kirimi, adding, “The cost of building these intakes is very high, and destroying those with valid permits is a retrogressive move.”

Water users have been encouraged to operate within the law.  “We would like to tell our members to ensure that they have valid permits to present when requested by officers of the Government.”

“We all want swift, sustainable solutions to this crisis, because water is an essential resource for all,” the coordinator told the media. Indeed, schools, clinics and thousands of homes supported by community water projects have been affected by the recent directive.

As part of its action plan on the Mt. Kenya water crisis, MKEWP is helping with advocacy that will be addressed to the Government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee formed to look at the water allocation in the region.

The efforts will highlight crucial issues that the Committee should consider when addressing sustainable solutions.

Mount kenya Ewaso Water Partnership

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership executive committee addresses the media after deliberations on way Forward. From L: MKEWP Coordinator Mr Stanley Kirimi, Ngusishi WRUA Chair Mr Muthuri Muriithi and Committee member Chsistine Shikuku

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Lessons from Farmers Field Day in Laikipia and Meru Counties

Mutara

Community members from Mutara are trained by extension officers on sustainable agricultural practices and water use during Farmers day in the area.

With the Kenyan weathermen predicting reduced rainfall in coming months, MKEWP joined farmers at field events held in Laikipia and Meru Counties.

The Partnership joined with partners at Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Kisima Farm.

Mutara Farmers Trip

The Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) from Mutara and Suguroi in Laikipia County rely on irrigation for farming and often experience hard times in the dry months of the year.

During the field trip, farmers met with extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture shared with them skills on rainwater harvesting, storage and effective water use. Representatives from the Ministry of Energy also demonstrated the use of biogas as a means of reducing energy costs and to encourage greater self-sufficiency at households.

The Farmer’s Day in Mutara was supported by Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project  which is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government . The project is implemented with partnership of FFI, LWF and Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Kisima Farmer’s Day

The Farmer’s Field Day at the Kisima Farm in Meru County brought together exhibitors and farmers from the counties of Meru, Laikipia and Isiolo.

Kisima Farmers Day

Farmers interact with agriculture technology providers during the Farmer’s Day at the Kisima Farm

The Day’s theme was “Promote Innovative Technology for Enhanced Agriculture” and the event involved over 35 agricultural exhibitors, where farmers learnt about effective techniques of increasing water productivity in agriculture.

MKEWP helped 52 farmers from Mutara and Suguroi WRUAs in Laikipia to attend the farmer’s field day through the SNV-Smart Water for Agriculture program.

The MKEWP/SNV program promotes farmer-led initiatives that encourage the use of effective technology to conserve water in agriculture.

For more information on the field days and the activities of MKEWP please contact:

James Mwangi Mwangi- MKEWP Water Resources Specialist

James.Mwangi@laikipia.org

+254 746 607 181

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New Leadership for the MKEWP Council: Moses Muthoki and George Kobia are elected!

Moses Muthoki

(L) Mr Moses Muthoki is the Head of Community Department at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy while Mr George Kobia is Meru County Chief Officer for Water

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership held its third Council meeting of 2018. The Council meeting brings together partners from over 14 organizations. In July, one of the agenda items was election of a new Chairperson and Deputy.

Council Election

For the first time since the establishment of Partnership, the council resolved to have two individuals occupying the position of chair.

The post of deputy chairperson was annulled and council approved to have representation from both private and government as co-chairs. This decision is in spirit of partnership from which MKEWP’s establishment was based.

Mr Moses Muthoki, the Head of Community Development at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy), and Mr George Kobia, Chief Officer for Water for Meru County) were both proposed and unanimously voted as the new chairpersons of MKEWP Council.

The two will now lead the Council and the Partnership in implementing and championing Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Upper Ewaso Basin for the next one year.

The Council instructed the secretariat to revise the Partnership’s Charter, which was adopted in 2016. The Charter defines terms of reference, roles and responsibilities that guide the operations of the Council.

MKEWP Council

MKEWP Council Members during their meeting on 6th July 2018. The Council elected two individual to co-chair the Partnership moving forward

Communication Strategy Deliberation

The MKEWP Secretariat also presented the draft Communication Strategy that proposes to work with Council members and WRUA Clusters as the key communication channels in the next five years.

The MKEWP Communication Strategy will provide a framework for MKEWP’s partners to engage effectively, build greater trust between members, create awareness and will build their capacity to communicate best practises in water governance.

 

For more information on MKEWP, the Council or the Communications Strategy, please contact:

Stanley Kirimi -MKEWP Coordinator

Stanley.kirimi@laikipia.org

+254 746 607 181

 

 

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MKEWP Gets a Communication Strategy!

MKEWP, LWF, Communication Strategy

MKEWP stakeholders discuss during the inception workshop for the Communication Strategy

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) is developing its first Communication Strategy.

MKEWP’s stakeholders met for an inception workshop to discuss the best way to serve the information and communication needs of its partners given their diverse nature.

The workshop was designed to develop a draft strategy to address the Partnership’s communication needs and lay the ground for a robust brand identity.

Stakeholders at the forum agreed on a strategy that will drive “effective communication to promote a sense of ownership and trust between MKEWP stakeholders.”

The workshop furthermore, presented a platform for discussions where the participants settled on structure for the strategy.

The communications strategy will complement the Strategic Plan which focuses on building stakeholder participation and coordination in its first five years. The strategy will also be key to the implementation of the Financial Sustainability Plan which gives realistic options on how the Strategic Plan can be financed.

The communication strategy provides a framework for MKEWP to address awareness, learning and knowledge management, advocacy, informed decision-making and triggering behavior change.

Stakeholders will meet to review the draft communication strategy before it’s presented to MKEWP Council in July for approval.

The secretariat’s communication department, led by LWF will play a central role in the implementation of the strategy over the next five years

The following partners joined MKEWP during the workshop:

Once complete the partnership will embark on implementation of the communication strategy to effectively address its diverse partners on outreach and mandate.

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MKEWP Joins Partners, Reports 2017 Outputs during Watershed Workshop

Watershed Kenya

Watershed Partners go through the 2017 outputs. L-R: Lilian Nyaega-Wetlands International, Tabitha Gerrets-AKVO, Wesley Kipng’enoh- LWF/MKEWP, Stanely Kirimi- MKEWP Coordinator, Jacob Baraza- Cespad and Titus Wamae-Wetlands International

Laikipia Wildlife Forum and the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) participated in the Watershed Outcomes Interpretation Workshop held in Machakos on the 7th and 8th May.

The purpose of the two-day workshop was to analyse the 2017 results of the Watershed Partners and their impact in creating social change.

The workshop brought together the Global Watershed team and partners – MKEWP, the Centre for Social Planning and Administrative Development (CESPAD), Neighbours Initiative Alliance (NIA), Kenya Water & Sanitation Civil Society Network (KEWASNET), Wetlands International, and Kenya Water for Health Organisation (KWAHO) – This team is working on a national Watershed strategy and implementation plan in Kenya.

The partners discussed their annual results and gave their interpretation of how these were contributing to the overall outcomes expected on this Program.

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) went through its four major Watershed results in 2017. These outputs were driven by the Partnership’s charter which describes three thematic areas: Water allocation and use management; water resource infrastructure development; and institutional strengthening.

The key actions and outputs of the MKEWP included:

  • Development of Water Sector Plans: By providing financial support, MKEWP facilitated meetings to bring together key players (WRUAs, WRA, County Ministry of Water) in the Nyeri, Laikipia and Meru Counties to discuss ten and five-year Water Plans for their future. The Water Sector Plans were incorporated in their County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs).
  • MKEWP produced a simplified guide to the Water Act 2016 and disseminated the guide to water actors in the Upper Ewaso Basin. The Simplified Guide was approved by the former Minister of Water Hon Eugene Wamalwa and Governing Council of 2030 Water Resources Group.
  • The Partnership sourced financial resources from Wetlands International to develop a Water Allocation Plan for the Teleswani River. Through meetings facilitated by MKEWP, the Water Resource Authority (WRA) and citizens discussed and agreed on equitable allocation of water for their River.
  • Water Rationing Plan: MKEWP financed meetings for 20 Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) to discuss their new roles in Water Rationing Plan and co-financed the manpower needed for scouting and actual rationing. This was done in December 2017 in anticipation of the drought period. Thanks to this the WRUAs now manage their water resources independently during the dry season (without WRAs notices).

These results reported at the Watershed workshop are in line with MKEWP’s goal of ensuring that water resources are managed for sustainable, equitable, social and economic development in the Ewaso Basin.