The ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association officially introduced its new manager and the new security coordinator during a recent board meeting held on the 13th of October 2021 at the CFA offices in Mukogodo.
Mr. Lestan Kirimi was officially assigned the mandate to manage the CFA from the 1st of October, taking over from his predecessor, Michael Mugo, who left to join Loisaba Conservancy.
Due to the current insecurity within the landscape, and especially in Laikipia North, the CFA brought on board a security coordinator whose role is to work in close partnership with the surrounding conservancies to ensure coordination of activities and safety of the rangers, as well as overall safety within Mukogodo Forest. Mr. Edward Payan serves as the new CFA Security Coordinator.
Among other issues highlighted during this meeting was the progress on the Participatory Forest Management Plan. The previous Plan having lapsed in 2008 and there is a need to have a new and robust plan in place to help in the proper management of the Forest.
The Board succeeded in securing a consultant who will help in the review of the PFMP. The CFA Chair, Mr. Mejoli, confirmed that they were in the final stages of acquiring the services of the consultant who will work in close supervision with the CFA officials, and with the oversight of a Forester, ensure that this review process is in line with the laws of the land.
The PFMP review process is anticipated to take around 3 months after which it will be subject to validation by the CFA stakeholders before adoption. With its adoption, the Plan will run for a period of 5 years, in parallel with a Forest Management Agreement with KFS.
A recommendation made by one of the members was that the CFA officials should consider managing the Forest under a concession agreement as compared to the current mode of arrangement, which did not really give ample attention to sustainable ecosystem restoration and management. The Board confirmed that it would look deeper into the possibilities of realizing this, but reiterated that it was still important to meet the requirements of a PFMP and Forest Management Agreement in place to guide implementation.
Also in the agenda was the progress under the BIOPAMA Project. Margaret Wambua, the Project Grant Manager, notified the members that the project was to end in January 2022 with a number of activities still pending.
The activities involve follow-up ranger trainings that would be held in November, joint ranger meetings with neighboring conservancies, and a first aid training for the rangers. BIOPAMA is a one-year grant supplying ranger support to Mukogodo in the face of the Pandemic.
The meeting was also used to introduce the project in the landscape under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO/GEF) that seeks to realize the restoration of arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) of Kenya through bio-enterprise development and other incentives under The Restoration Initiative. Activities include rangelands restoration and water management improvements in Lekurruki, Il Ngwesi, Kurikuri and Makurian group ranches in the Mukogodo landscape.
The FAO Project is supported by the Forum as a grant manager, and will focus on these key outputs:
- A sustainable business plan to engage investors for Dupoto beekeeping Cooperative Society developed and capacity of 40 CFA beekeeping groups developed with contractual business and marketing arrangements.
- 5 Ha of land restored through micro catchment establishment and reseeding in Il Ngwesi and Lekurruki
- 3 Ha of land in Ilngwesi and Makurian conservancies planted with hay for livestock feed during the dry seasons and indigenous trees planted around the hay farms.
- Six water infrastructure projects rehabilitated, and water management and governance improved
- Support the establishment of the Water Resource Users Association (WRUA) structures to facilitate access to the Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF) and other funds and enhance access to the resources from WSTF and other funds
The implementation of this Project is supported by: