On the 28th of January 2020, Storm Water, in collaboration with Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP), Laikipia County government, WRA, NEMA and other stakeholders initiated a project dubbed, “The ‘Edible’ Rivers of Laikipia”. Their aim is to restore the riparian health of rivers within Laikipia through the planting of highly valued trees along the river banks. The trees will act as a buffer zone that will prevent soil erosion and river bank degradation. And owners will benefit from the consumption and sales of these ‘edible’ tree products!
This Project targets four rivers in the Ewaso basin – Likii, Ontulili, Sirimon, and Nanyuki. The trees to be planted include fruit trees (avocados, loquats), bamboo trees and other river-friendly trees. The trees will be planted on a stretch of 2.5 km of these rivers, on both sides of each river.
The launch of this Project was at the Likii Bridge opposite the ASK and the guest of honor was the Deputy Commissioner of Laikipia County Madam Esther Mwamure. Other guests in the meeting were Stanley Kirimi, MKEWP Coordinator, Peter Ngubi, Regional Manager WRA, and Jackson Maina Mutoro, the new Director NEMA in Laikipia County. The party of tree planters also included chiefs and sub-chiefs of the area.
The project was both lauded for being one of a kind in its quest to conserve the riparian areas, and also for the added benefit of trees that yield edible fruits for people. Likii WRUA was urged to own this project and protect the trees zealously. WRA promised to support the project by providing 100 bamboo seedlings.
The project will scale up to include students from local primary and secondary schools in subsequent tree planting activities as a means to sensitize students on the importance of environmental protection and conservation.
Storm Water and Environment Management Forum is a Community Based Organization, which was initiated by Francis Githui, and was registered in 2018. They have been at the forefront in championing environmental conservation and management. They have a project ongoing at the Nanyuki dumpsite, where they have been rehabilitating the site and turning various waste into useful products.
They have also established a tree nursery at the dumpsite where they have been planting different species. These include avocado, loquats, sunflowers, etc. The plants are propagated using milk, juice, and sugar packets – all recycled materials. No plastic is used. They have also been using discarded tires to make towers for vegetable gardens.