Community members from Il Ngwesi and Lekuruki Conservancies began a land restoration exercise that seeks to return vegetation and grass cover in their landscape. The exercise dubbed, “micro catchment management”, involves the digging of semicircular bunds and growing grass in them to help reduce surface water runoff and increase the chances of vegetation growth because of the moisture that is retained in the soil. This is also an anti-erosion technique widely used around the world.
This model is borrowed from a similar initiative done in Kajiado County on Kuku Ranch, Kimana, through the support of Justdiggit and implemented by the Masaai Wildnerness Conservation Trust. Based on their results, it was a great success.
Both organizations have assisted Laikipia with basic assessments of the terrain, and provided training for this activity.
The ongoing exercise in Laikipia is supported by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations under the “Restoration and Water management improvement in Lekurruki, Il Ngwesi, Kurikuri and Makurian group ranches in Mukogodo landscape” agreement. The land restoration process is being carried out in designated locations within IL Ngwesi and Lekurruki, covering about 50 acres of the arid land. 3,500 bunds have been dug.
Laikipia Forum is coordinating the grant for this activity with support from other partners such as Borana Conservancy, IL Ngwesi Community Conservancy, and Lekuruki Community Conservancy and their rangeland management teams. Any rangeland rehabilitation work must be accompanied by grazing management once soil erosion has been arrested and vegetation starts to regenerate.
Community members are optimistic about this effort saying that it will go a long way to promote cohesion among them, as well as influence reduction of pastoral conflicts that have been experienced in the region for years now.
And now we all pray for rain!
The Implementation of this initiative is supported by