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“SCAMPS”!!? What Are They?

Sub Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) are the approved tools by which water issues are identified and managed in our rivers. They are key to the functions of Water Resource User Groups, and they dictate the amount of water that can be used from each river. They are used to establish the environmental flow of a river to ensure that there is sufficient water downstream. They also dictate the location of water offtake points in the system. They are a necessity in order to receive funding from the Water Sector Trust Fund, and they must be approved by the Water Resources Authority.

They are also affectionately referred to as SCAMPS, an abbreviation of the acronym, SCMP.

MKEWP continues to support the development of these plans. During this most recent period, we have supported Naromoru and Isiolo WRUAs to review and improve their Sub-Catchment Management Plans (SCMP). Naromoru WRUA SCMP was developed in 2009 and Isiolo WRUA in 2008. Both SCMPs were developed through earlier LWF financial support. These revisions SCMP to align the older SCMPs with the Water Act 2016.

The WRUA mandate outlined in the SCMPs cuts across the County and Government functions and requires the support of both levels of government in their implementation. They are THE Major Tool to improve water and sanitation services and water resource management.

The SCMPs include activities that contribute to sustainable water service delivery, and soil and water conservations. These two aspects of water management contribute directly to the County requirements. There is urgent need for County financial support to WRUA SCMP implementation if we are to realize their benefits.

This process is supported by

 

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Nanyuki@100

This year, Nanyuki celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The County Government is keen to link this celebration to a string of events over the next four months. Here are some of them!

  1. World Tourism Day will be celebrated in Nanyuki, the weekend of September 26 and 27th, with a marketing and advertising campaign led by the County and the Standard Media Group.

They will feature the marketing line, “Twende Nanyuki – Mwisho Wa Reli”, and #Destination Laikipia.

This is a good chance to advertise and market LTA services and activities for the public.

Destination Laikipia is again being (re)launched, and this time led by the Laikipia County Development Authority. Stay tuned for the release of the revised website produced in concert with the Laikipia Tourism Authority, and featuring all things great within the County  and its surrounds.

  1. 100for100 – Greening Nanyuki. A Task Force of County, LCDA, the Forum, and MKEWP have been working hard these last two months to identify at least 100 acres of green public areas to preserve in the face of Nanyuki’s growth. We are hoping to have at least 1 acre of green preserved for each year of the town’s age.

 

The Task Force identified more than the 100 acres of greens space that include riparian walkways and picnic/public grounds.  The proposals now sit with the County Government for support and action. We expect the next steps to be public engagement in the location and confirmation of the sites/walkways

  1. Nanyuki@100

The town will celebrate the build-up to the Anniversary birthday party expected on or close to Jamhuri Day (December 12). Stay tuned for the program of events expected out from County Government soon.

And expect more news and contributions from our citizens, banks and businesses in support of the event!

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Man on A Mission: EMU-SACCO Membership Recruitment

Antony Muriungi, the EMU-SACCO Marketing Officer, heading out on another recruitment mission

Two years ago, water users  in our Basin came together. We were able to set up a financial the Ewaso Maji Users  (EMU) Sacco to meet our financial and agricultural needs.

Farmer’s attitudes have since changed from looking at subsistence agriculture as the only source of livelihood to become better water managers and more dynamic entrepreneurs on an individual level.

One man who has been on the wheels of this change is Mr. Antony Muriungi, the Ewaso Maji Users Marketing Officer.

Since joining EMU-SACCO, Anthony has been able to fast track membership growth from 134 members to 202 members in just two months. Antony attributes this steady growth to close collaborations and support in the recruitment process from Water Resources Users Associations, Community Water Projects and the SACCO management team.

“Our members needed loan facilities without providing collateral or security as is a requirement by the main Banks. They believed that such loans could only be provided efficiently and urgently by an in-house Sacco.”

“We must understand that the members are the backbone of Ewaso Maji Users Sacco, and the reason we exist. As part of our mission to transform our member’s livelihoods through provision of financial solutions to improve water security and sustainable economic empowerment in Ewaso Basin, we focus on working with each member personally to better understand their financial goals and offer attainable solutions that really make a difference, ”says Anthony.

He adds that the SACCO is fully aware that as a cooperative, profits are returned to members, in the form of improved services, lower interest rates, and higher deposit rates.

“We know we are delivering on these promises as our members have been extremely active in all areas of our offerings, including telling us where we are doing great and where we can improve. We are willing to go all the way and introduce more products which shall be much affordable to our Members.”

Emu Sacco provides a number of financial products,  the main one being the water loan dubbed, Maji Chap Chap, with an interest rate of 0.8% on a reducing balance. Through this loan members are linked to service providers and acquire water infrastructure/technology at discounted prices.

Here are some important testimonials from EMU Sacco members

I have been a member of the Sacco for one year and during my time as a member, I have nothing but love for everyone who works and support this society. I believe that the Sacco will grow to be a big Sacco and have great impact on the lives of farmers. I am so proud to be a member!- bona fide member                  Isaac Magiri

Since I Joined Emu Sacco, I have benefitted from linkages to service providers like, Sun Culture. I was able to get a solar pump at very low price and this pump has helped boost my farming.  Even during hard times like this of the Covid pandemic, Emu Sacco has always communicated to us as members in time to help us understand situations which makes it even better for us as members. Asante Emu Sacco!                 Mr. Japhet Kariithi

What I can testify is that there has been a steadfast growth in the Sacco over the last months and we are aiming to greater heights for growth. I am working to ensure EMU SACCO becomes a leading financial institution offering superior financial access along the Ewaso and Mount Kenya region.    Anthony Muriungi

 

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Making Sense of the New Mukogodo

Kenya Forest Service Board Chairman, Mr. Peter Kinyua, addresses members of the Ilmamusi Mukogodo Community Forest Association and surrounding community stakeholders in August

A series of three meetings have worked to re-establish the representation and compliance of ILMAMUSI CFA with the laws governing national forests and resources in the Country.

There are three major and important results coming out of these meetings.

  1. KFS has been importantly engaged in the re-establishment of the CFA and is committed to its success. The engagement of the Chairman of the Board is an indication of their more serious support for the Forest. This KFS engagement has been missing for the last 13 years.
  2. The Forest now has an official register of members allowed entry and use of the Forest’s resources. They are drawn from the communities living within 5 km of the Forest edge. This is the first time ever ILMAMUSI CFA has its own membership register; previously the CFA had relied on Group Ranch registers from Ilngwesi, Makurian, Kurikuri and Lekurruki Group Ranches. A total of 2,296 have now populated the CFA register. Membership registration will be an annual activity; it is the foundation upon which community involvement in co-management of forest resources in Kenya is established.
  3. Six forest user groups have been formed in each Conservancy to manage specific elements of the Forest’s future. These groups are responsible for the access, use, and sustainable management of these 6 resources. They include honey harvesting, herbal medicine collection, pasture and water, ecotourism, tree nurseries establishment, and fuel wood collection. 6 representatives have been selected from these 24 community members selected to represent each of these Forest uses.

This is a significant departure from the past CFA Management formation in which Community Based Organizations (CBOs) Chairpersons were appointed to the Board to represent the interests of forest user groups.

These 6 forest user group representatives are added to the full management committee of ILMAMUSI.

This process is being supported by FAO through the GEF-6 Restoration of Arid and Semi-arid Lands of Kenya through Bio-enterprise Development and Other Incentives

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Wildlife – How Much Longer?

Coexistence is the key to survival of the Serengeti, Okavango Delta and Kalahari regions, some of the world’s most prolific wildlife ecosystems that are surrounded by fast-growing human communities. It’s no different in Laikipia.

Rural livelihoods depend on these forests, fisheries and rangelands, so effective and lasting conservation strategies must find ways not only to protect wildlife and the environment but also to deliver economic opportunities at local and national scales. In Kenya, for example, up to 65% of all wildlife is found on community and private lands, outside government parks and reserves, and wildlife tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry . . .

But both the economic drivers of wildlife conservation – TOURISM, (confounded by the Covid Pandemic), and the belief that WILDLIFE MUST PAY ITS WAY are compromised by a confused and emotional public.

This is the role of the Laikipia Forum – to harness collective action and economic innovation in service to the conservation and management of our natural resources.

Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE program in the 1980s, helped pioneer the idea of generating community-level incentives for wildlife conservation through sustainable and locally managed use. But CONSERVATION is littered with projects that promised to make conservation profitable and beneficial to local communities but struggled to deliver. This includes Kenya, and Laikipia where LWF had its origins in consumptive wildlife use between 1994 and 2004.

But since, our East Africa region has been a source of fertile innovation for conservation efforts.

Two important trends are emerging in Kenya – KWCA as the voice of the new generation of conservancy movements and the Task Force Report on Consumptive Wildlife Use that calls for a new approach to our definition of wildlife, consumption and biodiversity conservation.

Today, it’s clear that it can be done: A “conservation economy” can create jobs and attract investment while protecting and sustaining the ecological wealth that peoples’ livelihoods depend on. A rising generation of African conservation entrepreneurs . . . is reframing conservation as a growth sector.”

This rising generation is celebrated in this story  in the Stanford Social Innovation review.

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Locust Invasion In Kenya On the Decrease?

The desert locust infestation could be coming under control now. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation , Kenya has beaten the locust upsurge, at least for now.

FAO, however, warns that more people in Kenya and the region will be food insecure due to the damage caused by the locusts on food, as well as pastures for livestock. The re -emergence of swarms in Samburu County give additional cause for concern.

FAO noted that significant progress has been made in fighting the desert locusts in the region, with Kenya standing out among the countries that have posted major milestones.

The number of counties infested by locusts has gone down to two from 29 – more than half of the country, at the beginning of this year.

“In Kenya, only two of the 29 counties that were infested in February have desert locusts today,” FAO said.

The Organization noted that having locusts under control was due to efforts by FAO, its partners, and East African governments in building capacity to fight the locusts. The desert locusts’ invasion has resulted in major threat to food security across East Africa as well as parts of Asia and Middle East.

New technologies have been deployed in the fight to control the spread and location of locust swarms, including transmitters attached to locusts (picture above)  and the use of drones.

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ORAMAT LENABOISHO Cooperative Society Set to Grow

The Kenya’s livestock sector is primed to grow exponentially over the next three decades. This growth is huge and is expected to anchor Kenya’s food security amid a rapid rise in the human population.

The livestock sector will have choice but to respond through reform. Oramat Lenaboisho  Cooperative intends to be part and parcel of this transformation of the sector.   But how?

In the recent years,  the over-dependence on rains that never rain, combined with poor livestock and rangelands management, and a lack of access to markets have hindered productivity. In addition, falling yields, degraded lands, cash constraints and inefficient links between small holders and consumers have contributed to food deficits, limiting livelihood opportunities and forcing much of the population to rely on food aid.  Laikipia North was particularly hard-hit during the Covid crisis.

The growing food demand, the adoption of improved livestock technologies, formation of cooperatives and more efficient markets offer opportunities to enhance livestock production, food security and resilience amongst the pastoralists of Laikipia North.

Oramat has been championing for change in the sector since the formation of the Cooperative. It continues to source funds through partnerships with the County Government and is presently working on a loan through the KCB bank that is aimed at accelerating the recovery from Covid 19.

Oramat is making all these efforts to ensure that it remains relevant and viable and can live up to its dream of revitalizing our rangelands with benefits to the sector and individual households.

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Who Gets to Use the Resources of Mukogodo Forest?

ERROR – We apologize for the omission of Northern Rangeland Trust in our partnership round-up. 

As Laikipia Forum, we strongly believe in the values of partnerships as a pillar in our all programs. Partnership has the real value to influence change and improve livelihoods for the communities and people that we serve across this landscape.

Ilmamusi Forest Association is a membership organization bringing together the local Maasai community living adjacent to Mukogodo Forest. Since its inception in 2008, the Community Forest Association has depended on group ranch registers of residents from Ilngwesi, Makurian, Kurikuri and Lekurruki to define its membership.

As part of the constitutional reform of the CFA, we have embarked on a new registry to define the members who have access and use rights in the Forest. As a starting point, every individual on the register must belong to a USER GROUP, the USER GROUP must be registered with the CFA, and everyone must live within 5 km of the Forest boundary.

So far, a total of 2069 people have been registered. 1009 are male and 1060 are female. Ilngwesi location has 512 members, Makurian location has 698 members, Mukogodo location has 579 members and Sieku location has 280 members.

ILMAMUSI has made notable strides in streamlining forest user groups. We held meetings with representatives drawn from CFA Board. We agreed on resource use rights in the Forest. These would be restricted to harvesting of honey, collection of medicinal herbs, grazing and water access, ecotourism, tree nurseries and tree planting, and fuel wood collection.

User groups are the foundation on which the CFA stands; therefore these groups will be re-organized to reflect the user rights defined above. The next big step in our development will be to build the capacity of these USER GROUPS to organize and manage their operations in support of these six thematic uses of the Forest.

All Forest USER GROUPS must be duly registered. They must provide the list of members to the CFA and share reports on their functions on a regular basis. This register will also inform the authorities of who is a legal user of the Forest, and who is not.

ILMAMUSI will develop a database of all these USER GROUPS. This documentation is imperative as the CFA prepares for a review and revision of its Participatory Forest Management Plan, and Forest Management with the Kenya Forest Service.

Special thanks to our Partners for their support, and to LWF for their leadership, in helping us organize this important step in our growth as a CFA.

This process is being supported by FAO through the GEF-6 Restoration of Arid and Semi-arid Lands of Kenya through Bio-enterprise Development and Other Incentives

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Championing PRACTICAL Environmental Conservation

“We cannot purport to know the extent of pollution and environmental degradation while we continue to sit in boardrooms.”

Francis Githui and the Storm Water and Environment Management Forum (SWEMF) are miracle workers. With minimal resources, they have been able to make a mammoth change to the conservation scene in the County.

Francis currently has three conservation initiatives running concurrently. These are the Nanyuki Dumpsite Reclamation and Rehabilitation,  the Edible Rivers Initiative, and more recently, the Fruit Tree School Project.

Nanyuki Dumpsite Reclamation and Rehabilitation

Francis has a mantra, “waste to wealth” , which he swears by. He believes that there is no particular waste that cannot be reused or recycled into something of use or value. The idea to reclaim the dumpsite emanated from the increased amount of waste being dumped there, consequently posing environmental as well as health challenges. He, therefore, made a reconnaissance visit at the dumpsite to check the various types of the waste present, sorted the waste and requested for County permits to commence his recycling work.

He’s made a name for himself by morphing waste into valuable materials.  For instance, glass bottles are crushed into small pieces and are used to make tiles. He also makes high-quality Cabros by mixing plastic bags and plastic bottles at high temperatures.

Francis has also established a tree nursery at the Nanyuki Dumpsite, boasting almost 45,000 avocado seedlings, 5000 loquat seedlings, and 2000 guava seedlings, in addition to others.

Francis is not growing these trees for commercial sale; rather, he believes Laikipians and Kenyans at large can learn a lot from his efforts.

Edible Rivers

Francis and (SWEMF) aim to rehabilitate and conserve various river riparian lands, including those of Likii and Ontulili rivers, among others. Francis does this by planting bamboos to stabilize river banks, as well planting numerous fruit trees along these rivers.

Francis believes these fruit trees will be beneficial to riparian members in countless ways including their nutritional value, soil stabilization, and opportunity to improve livelihoods. Most importantly Francis and SWEMF believe that they can inculcate a conservation culture among the people living adjacent to these rivers.

Once people begin to reap the benefits from this initiative they will become more environmentally conscious and take better care of the environment and possibly increase fruit-tree cover as well.

Fruit Tree School Project

This is an idea that Francis conceived during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has had far-reaching effects in the country and the education sector was not spared.

The pandemic led to the closure of schools throughout the country. Francis realized that many schools had water tanks that were capturing a lot of water during this rainy season, but the water wasn’t being used. He started his project in Ngobit Ward, Laikipia County. At the moment, he has planted trees in Mwituria Secondary, Thingithu, Inooro Secondary, Loise Girls, and Nanyuki Garrison among many others.

He has currently planted trees in up to 16 schools. Francis also aims to establish miniature gardens in schools once normal school programs resume as part of a school gardens project.  This will not only teach students about crops and soils;  he also hopes that they will learn the important message of natural resources conservation as well.

Francis says the major impediments he has faced in his conservation efforts are lack of sufficient funding and misplaced priorities by local authorities.

Should you be interested in lending Francis and the Storm Water and Environment Management Forum a hand in any of their ongoing projects,  contact us at the Forum, or give him a call at 0724769750 or swemfcbo@gmail.com.

Francis  and SWEMF are members of the Laikipia Forum and MKEWP.

 

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Insurance Scheme Proposed for Human Wildlife Conflict Crisis

The recently-released, three-part report on Human Wildlife Conflict and compensation is out. You can read your own personal copy here.

The reports offer the following highlights:

  • Communities want a faster and much more efficient compensation payments that are timely and not delayed.
  • They want a faster response to reported incidences especially human injuries;
  • They want assistance for human injuries to be taken to hospital
  • They want for the immediate families of the dead to be offer consoling.
  • They want more focus on prevention.
  • They want the list of animals causing conflicts/problems to be amended in the WCMA 2013 (something that has been under discussion for 6 years!)
  • They want KWS to learn from the small-scale HWC consolation schemes that are implemented by non-state actors (private conservancies and donors).

The Task Force recommends the establishment of a HWC Insurance Scheme to manage risks and administer liabilities on four categories of HWC (human death and injury, property damage, crop destruction, and livestock predation).

The Task Force also recommends that personal bodily injury and human death from wildlife as per

the schedule is provided based on the Continental Scale of Benefits (insurance policy terminology for human injury or death), including a proposed maximum of KES 3,000,000  ($30,000) for human death.

The proposed management structure of the revised human wildlife compensation scheme recognizes devolution and links case management to county and ward levels. But the funding of such a structure again puts the onus on an over-taxed tourism sector, and conservation levies and payment for ecosystem services – both of which are ill-defined and have not been effective income generating tools in Kenya. Finally the scheme will also depend on donor financing.

There is no talk of premium payments in support of the insurance program (a common practice in all insurance policies), and there are no incentives/benefits accruing to individuals and communities already practicing HWC mitigation and management.

(It’s like so many health insurances – where they pay for treatment but not for prevention/good practices!!)

A new fund, called the Human Wildlife Co-existence Fund, will be managed by a new parastatal board.

The HWC insurance scheme will be piloted for 8 months in the Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Narok, and Meru to test the claims administration process and tools. The results of this pilot will be crucial in adjusting the scheme before country-wide roll out.

Want a printed copy of these reports? Please contact communications@laikipia.org  for yours.