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LWF Partners Profiled at the Mt. Kenya ASK Show!

LAikipia wildlife Forum

LWF was joined by Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) and Kenya Water Health Organization (KWAHO) as key Watershed Partners. Other partners included the Wetlands International Watershed Program, Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA), Laiconar, Irrico International, Ngusishi WRUA, Nyahururu WRUA and Laikipia Youth group supported by KWAHO.

As Watershed Program implementers, MKEWP showcased its impact on water resource management (WRM) with communities, through Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs). The Partnership was buttressed by Ngusishi WRUA – who displayed how common intakes are used in rivers for sustainable distribution of water to 16 community water projects along the River.

In line with the theme of the show “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture,” the Partnership demonstrated Smart Water Agricultural through Irrico International – a company that displayed technology in agriculture.

Smart Water for Agriculture is supported by SNV through LWF and MKEWP under the Irrigated Agriculture Platform (IAP) and promotes sustainable use of water in Agriculture in Laikipia County.

Another partner, Laiconar-a policy and advocacy platform aimed at engaging public participation at the policy level showcased its community outreach programs and Green Africa. It also promoted its newest efforts aimed at the use of vertical and horizontal gardens in small-scale agriculture.

The show was also used as a membership drive for LWF, MKEWP and Laikipia Tourism Association – as the three partners met and spoke to potential members on the benefits of a shared vision using different tools and partnerships to realize a sustainable future for natural resources in the region.

The ASK Show gave different groups and partners a platform to showcase their activities and innovations, and provided a great platform for interaction.

The three-day event saw LWF stand take the second prize overall as “The Best Organization/Association In Community Service”. Our stand was one of the ten visited by the Chief Guest of the Show, Governor Nderitu Murithi, where he learned more about the effectiveness of partnerships in managing the natural resources of Laikipia.

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Laikipia Tourism Association – Registration & Membership Drive

Laikipia Tourism Association

Laikipia Tourism Association  (LTA)Secretary John Kingori speaks to attendees about LTA’s new membership during the Mt Kenya ASK Show.

The Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA) is launching its membership drive in a move that will see the association bring together more than 100 tourism service providers.

Everyone’s invited – Hoteliers, tour operators and travel agents, first food outlets, coffee shops and restaurants, souvenir and gift shops, homestays and Airbnb operators, lodges, campsites, wildlife conservancies and other destinations……You are legible to join the LTA membership!

The association represents the Laikipia tourism industry at County, national and regional levels on matters impacting tourism. It’s LTA’s intention to ensure Laikipia is recognized as the most diversified, sustainable tourism destination in East Africa.

Through the membership, service providers will enjoy an array of benefits that include influencing the government to have fair and appropriate business permits, licenses, and taxation. This is consistent with LTA’s support of the “single business permit”.

Members of LTA will also have access to tools and technology that support sustainable tourism in the County/Country, and access to a skilled labour pool to enhance efficient service delivery. In addition, the association will negotiate financial benefits like insurance, inter-county rates, and destination incentives, among others benefits.

While the membership is voluntary, all tourism service providers in Laikipia and is surrounds that comply with the law and possess a valid business permit are welcome to subscribe.

The one-off registration fee is KSH 5,000 and with an annual (2018) membership fee of the same.

For registration and more details on LTA, contact John King’ori (LTA Secretary): john.kingori@laikipia.org, +254 714 797931.

Laikipia Tourism Association is supported by the secretariat of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum. The LTA is one of 7 other associations in Laikipia supported by the LWF.

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Conservation Progress in Mukogodo Forest

Disney ProjectThomas Sakui Lekurruki Rangeland Coordinator presents wet season grazing plan for Lekkuruki Conservancy to the workshop attendants from Makurian, Il Ngwesi and Lekurruki.

Conservation and the protection of life and livelihoods took steps forward over the last month.

A workshop at Loragai Community Forest Association (CFA) Offices in the beginning of May discussed the progress on the Disney funded activities.

The meeting brought together the area chief, grazing committees, group ranch representatives, and the rangeland coordinators of 3 group ranches (Makurian, Lekurruki and IL Ngwesi) All are are beneficiaries of the first phase of the Disney funded project.  The workshop showed progress in the implementation of Disney Project -and illustrates a growing capacity of Il Mamusi CFA and participating conservancies to reduce Human-Elephant Conflict and Human-Wildlife Conflict in and around Mukogodo forest

Also present were representatives from Borana Conservancy, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF).

Rangeland coordinators have spent the month organizing meetings with community members in their group ranches on grazing plans and raising awareness on Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC). As a result of the meetings, grazing committees have been revived in these three group ranches as part of grazing land management and restoration.

The rangeland coordinators gave an update on the progress of individual group ranches:

Makurian Group Ranch

Community members in Makurian Group ranch have selected farms that will be fenced using a solar-powered electric fence to enable them to practice subsistence agriculture during the rainy season. The fence is designed to protect agriculture and people from elephants in particular.

The tendering process to procure a qualified fencing company was also completed, and Wisdom Agritechnic was awarded the tender based on criteria developed by members of the Disney Grant project steering committee.

The fencing work on the ground is expected to start in June and will take a period of 1 month. Labour will be provided by community members and an elected fencing committee will manage and monitor fence installation and management.

Lekurruki

In a meeting held in March, Lekurruki proposed to develop and protect Lontana spring to ensure that it continues to provide clean water to the community, livestock and wildlife.  In preparation, a spring protection survey was undertaken with support from Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) and Geodev Solutions. They carried out a feasibility study to develop the engineering designs, and bill of quantity for the proposed works.

Water samples were collected during field survey to determine the water quality and to advise on measures to improve it for better health.

The spring is an important water resource for communities living in Anandunguru plains, Mukogodo Forest, as it supplies domestic and livestock water.

The survey report is expected in early June 2018 and will serve to launch the set of construction activities in the Forest.

Il Ngwesi

Several community awareness meetings have been held in Il Ngwesi since February 2018. The meetings have led to successful revival of grazing committees and grazing plans during dry and rainy season.

The group ranches have pledged their full support to the Disney Funded project activities to ensure the success of the project.

In the next few weeks, IL MAMUSI CFA rangers will undergo wildlife monitoring training facilitated by LWF and NRT. The training will help them to collect elephant monitoring data to determine the results of these activities on human-elephant movements and conflict.

The Disney Conservation Project is administered by LWF and delivered by IL MAMUSI with the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya.

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The Opuntia Cactus Meets Its Match

Opuntia Workshop

John Kingori the director of environment Laikipia County addresses the workshop participants on the importance of collaborative efforts towards eradication of Opuntia

Opuntia species have been present in Laikipia for over 50 years. These species were initially introduced for ornamental and live fencing purposes. However, over the past 15 years, some of these species have spread and become aggressively invasive, covering hundreds of acres of land.

This spread has included invasion of conservation areas, rangelands and cultivation areas where it is responsible for a range of negative impacts that have not been systematically quantified.

A greater percentage of Opuntia stricta species presence within Laikipia County is recorded in Laikipia North particularly areas around Il Polei, Makurian, Morupusi Group Ranches, and Dol-Dol town.

To control the plant species, the Laikipia County government mobilized stakeholders to begin addressing this menace.

At a meeting on May 22, 2018 at Twala Cultural Manyatta, representatives from 10 group ranches in Naibunga, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Groots Kenya, Borana Conservancy, ICRAF, Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia Perma-Culture, Regional Centre for Mapping and Remote Sensing, Laikipia County Government, Northern Rangerlands Trust and Ol Jogi Conservancy met to discuss effective ways of controlling the spread of the invasive species.

The County Government brought these key stakeholders together following their previous involvement in control and eradication of Opuntia. These stakeholders were urged to develop a roadmap for tackling the menace.

Suggestions were tabled on how the species can be controlled:

  • Form an umbrella body that will focus on controlling invasive species
  • Map the species in the landscape
  • Sensitize schools in the affected areas
  • Have a biogas equipment within the group ranches that could use the plant as fuel.
  • Ask households to collect the plant and sell them for biogas production.

Following previous experiences by different stakeholders, the forum agreed that the nine stakeholders organizations present and chairperson of group ranches in Naibunga will form the steering committee to oversee the next steps and future engagement of the forum, including fundraising. The steering committee will consist of a “mechanical sub-committee” that will oversee the manual removal of Opuntia and “biological sub-committee” that will oversee biological control of the species.

The Steering Committee meeting is expected to hold its first meeting in June.

The meeting was supported financially by the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Groots Kenya, Mpala Research Centre and the Northern Rangerlands Trust.

 

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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.