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Christmas and New Year Message From Us!

 

To all our friends, stakeholders, and partners,

We wish all the good tidings of this holiday season, and thank you for your support. This is a special time of year to give thanks and to reflect on the accomplishments of 2018, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The new Forum continues to take shape, and our partners the Laikipia Tourism Association and the LAICONAR – Laikipia County Natural Resources Network, have already taken up residence at the Forum’s compound. They join the very active Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership here.

There are important revisions to the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act that impact the County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committees. We’ll give you an update early in the new year on the implications for our area.

With the addition of our new partners, the new Forum Board will hold its first meeting in 2019, forging a more Inclusive and representative conservation action network for the Greater Laikipia Landscape.

So from all our partners:

  • Laikipia Farmers Association
  • LAICONAR
  • MKEWP
  • County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee
  • Laikipia Association of Conservation Educators (LACE)
  • Laikipia Regional Conservancies
  • Oromat Lenabiosho Cooperative Society, and
  • Laikipia Tourism Association

We take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Peaceful Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Chairman

The Laikipia Forum

P.S. The Forum’s offices are closed for business between December 22 and January 7, 2019.

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Kenya’s Wildlife Conservation Status Report for 2015-2017

 

HERE is the Nation’s “ National Wildlife Conservation Status Report for 2015-2017”. To our knowledge, this is the first of these reports, mandated by the Wildlife Act of 2013. This report forms part of the Government’s “audit” of the wildlife sector and its performance relative to conservation, and an array of endangered and threatened species listed in the Act.

For those interested, the Report outlines the major threats to wildlife species and conservation – and unsurprisingly,  encroachment and poaching top the list supplemented by infrastructure development and invasive species. Wildlife disease is also cited as a growing threat.

While the Report will not surprise you, it is the first major baseline against which we can hold our wildlife authorities and ourselves accountable. Combine this Report with the pending release of the National Wildlife Policy, the recently released National Wildlife Strategy, the soon-to-be released National Wildlife Conservation Agenda for the next 5 years, the Report on Consumptive Wildlife Use, and we may just be realizing the tools to release the log-jam that has blocked dynamic conservation action in this country for too long.

 

Stay Informed! Keep Engaged!

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Fauna & Flora, and MKEWP Joined in Support of Mutara Communities

mutara

Chief of Mutara Location speaks to residents during a meeting to resolve water crisis and conflicts between downstream and upstream water users in the area. The meeting was organised by partnership of Water Resource Authority, Ol Pejeta, MKEWP and WRUA members.

 Over the last few months, this partnership has hosted a series of engagements with WRUA members in Mutara and Suguroi Sub-Catchments of the Ewaso Basin.

The partnership is tackling issues related to water conflicts. They have also offered training of WRUA members on water conservation and management, focusing on a more equitable supply of water between upper and lower catchment water users.

Moreover, the partnership has focused on the mandatory development of the Sub-Catchment Management Plans , and is pushing for more women to participate in the management of water resources actively.

These partners are working together with the Water Resource Authority (WRA), Water Resources User Associations (WRUA), project committees and pastoral communities in the two catchments.

Water Crisis

A significant increase of acreage under irrigation and over-abstraction from users in all the zones of Mutara have contributed to conflicts between users in the upper and lower zones. This over-abstraction is causing conflicts with down-stream water users. In water crisis meetings held since September 2018, the partnership:

  • Developed water rationing plans prior to dry months, when most water conflict occur.
  • Supported Smart Water Agriculture – Farmers are helped to adopt modern farming technologies to reduce water wastage.
  • Supported a Ksh 10,000 fine on Community Water Projects that go against rationing plans and other regulations agreed on between the WRA and WRUAs.

Training of Community Members

Over 80 WRUA members have been trained on different aspects of water conservation, smart water agriculture, and good governance.

More specifically, farmers in the catchment now have access to a simple manual in line with the current agricultural policy used by the water and extension officers of the County to train farmers.

MKEWP has also facilitated farmers from Mutara-Suguroi to visit model farms in three counties (Laikipia, Nyeri and Meru) to learn about Smart Water Agriculture and market-based solutions.

Mutara WRUA member speaks during a meeting organized by MKEWP to train the community on catchment protection and sensitize them on the 2016 Water Act.

Mutara Sub-Catchment Management Plan

Finally, plans to develop the Mutara Sub-Catchment Management Plan (SCMP), by March 2019 are underway.

In its preparation, WRA, with help from Ol Pejeta Conservancy, conducted an abstraction survey while MKEWP commissioned a river study for the Mutara River. These two studies will come in handy in the development of the final plan. The SCMPs guide the management and maintenance of the sub-catchment by communities.

In 2019 MKEWP will continue to work with Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC) in the Mutara area on the Cattle, Water and Wildlife in Laikipia.

Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government funding.

The project is implemented with partnership of FFI, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and LWF through Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP)

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Destination Laikipia To Offer Fresh Leisure, Living, Learning and Loving Laikipia Experience

Laikipia offers diverse, wild and personal tourism experiences and the new platform is a new gateway!

The County Government and the Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA) have reached an agreement on the management of a promotional-booking website (Destination Laikipia) a platform that is dedicated to boost tourism and investments in the County.

The new website is designed to be a one-stop shop for Laikipia destinations, investments, company promotion, and living. The tourism component will  let potential travelers book and make payment for a wide variety of  tourism experiences. This is also the first time any county will have a one-stop booking platform for private properties in its landscape.

In the agreement, LTA will manage the platform making it easy for its membership to feature their properties, package their offerings, and advertise major upcoming events.

Are you interested to visit and enjoy the wild and personal experiences of Laikipia? Through the platform, you will get recommendations for holidays with discounted rates, and efficient reservations, as well as regular updates on travel information in the County.

This is a boost to the County’s tourism promotion and private sector support, and will greatly contribute to tourism growth in the Laikipia landscape.

There are many Laikipia tourism investments/properties that are expected to be the major beneficiaries of this new development as they will get a platform for direct booking services and marketing of their destinations.

The development of Destination Laikipia’s new platform is in its final stage.

We encourage tourism service providers in Laikipia to sign on with the LTA in order to enjoy this new marketing and promotion platform for tourism in the Greater Laikipia Landscape.

For LTA Membership and inquiries, contact LTA Secretary John King’ori

Email: john.kingori@laikipia.org

Cell: +254 714 797 931

 

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Cross-county efforts to spur economic development in region

AMAYA TRIANGLE

A member contributes during the regional workshop in Rumuruti

Everyone knows the National Disaster Emergency Agency (NDMA) as the organization leading the Government’s commitment to ending drought emergencies in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of Kenya. They are responsible for the monthly monitoring of conditions and early warning signs of drought in the Country. They guide drought preparedness and emergency relief.

The AMAYA Triangle Initiative (ATI) is the result of the collective intentions of 4 Counties and their Governors to bring peace, stability and economic development to the four corners of Baringo, Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu Counties.

In a welcome partnership, the NDMA and ATI are leading this 4-county initiative.  At a regional workshop in Rumuruti at the beginning of October, representatives and partners from Baringo (Amaya ward), Laikipia (Sosian ward), Samburu (Seguta Marmar ward), and Isiolo (Ol Donyiro ward), completed the preliminary designs of development activities designed to turn these areas into a livestock enterprise zone – a tool in efforts to stabilize and bring economic development to this region.

We can expect project designs to be supported through the NDMA/European Union and procurement activities to begin early in 2018. Early activities for the ATI include water and livestock development, infrastructure, and more cross-county talks aimed at enhancing collaboration and cooperation.

The Forum is supporting design efforts alongside the County NMDA and County Steering Group.

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Good Neighbours

Communities have been meeting to improve relations and develop local partnerships that have mutual benefits for involved parties

The communities to the North and East of Ole Naishu have been working with a membership organization (Oramat Lenaboisho) in the Laikipia east landscape to bring about better communication and more regular collaboration in the neighbourhood.

Working with the support of the FORUM and Borana Conservancy, Oramat has been leading the formation of community groups to discuss issues of grazing, security, employment and reconciliation of past grievances.

Two community groups (committees) have been appointed (one from Makurian and one from Chumvi) to serve as the interface between Ole Naishu and its neighbours.

These efforts are designed to bring about improved relations and to develop local partnerships that have mutual benefits for the Ranch and its neighbours.

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Electric Fence Brings Hope To Health Centre In Arjiju, Mukogodo Forest

Mr Stephen Njoroge is the Health Officer in charge of Arjiju Health Center in Mukogodo, that has been fenced as part of Disney Project in Mukogodo Landscape.

My name is Stephen Njoroge, I am the doctor in charge of the Arjiju Community Health Centre. I came to Makurian Group Ranch, about five years ago.

When I first got here, this facility was experiencing a lot of challenges. Insecurity, human-wildlife conflict, lack of a maternity ward and there was an acute lack of water in the hospital.

There was a great challenge of insecurity because of free-roaming wild animals and especially the elephants. In fact, community members could not visit the health centre at night for fear of attack by wild animals.

Water was also an issue, a big one! This health centre was a hotspot because it had water tanks and made it a prime spot for the conflicts.

Despite the fact that we had a seasonal water pan in the community and a water storage unit in the hospital, elephants would come and drink the water. Herds trooped about the health centre at night and drank all the water from our tanks.  We would end up without any water to use in the hospital. Imagine a maternity ward without water!

About two years ago, the committee at Arjiju met to discuss how we were going to curb this challenge.  It was decided that we would put up a barbed-wire fence around the dispensary. This was done. But after a couple of weeks, the elephants came back and destroyed the fence and as usual went for the water tanks.

We had to find a solution, and I am glad that the committee was determined and ready to find solutions to this. When the chairman of Makurian Group Ranch mentioned that Disney Project would bring a new electric fence that would include the health centre, I was excited.

These past few months, seeing the poles up and finally, the electric wires being installed ,has our community very excited. That committee made a good call to include this health centre in the boundaries of the fence project.

With the electric fences now erected around the dispensary, we plan to pull down the old barbed-wired fences.

This year our water tanks will be full! I won’t have to worry about water when I get an emergency at the maternity ward at night.”

#Ends

The newly constructed solar-powered fence in Arjiju Village covers 45 hectares and is part of the Disney Conservation Fund implemented through The Laikipia Wildlife Forum at the larger Mukogodo landscape.

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More Crop for Each Drop

SNV farmer's field day

Farmers’ Field Day expose farmersto modern irrigation technology, profitable crops and maximizing water productivity on small parcels of lands.

‘Increasing water productivity’’ was the theme of the October’s Farmers’ Field Day held in Kiahuko Area, Naro Moru WRUA, Nyeri County.

The event organized by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) in partnership with SNV. It attracted 230 farmers from 19 Water Resources Users Associations (WRUAs) from Nyeri, Meru and Laikipia Counties.

The farmers were trained on irrigation technologies, water harvesting and storage, water abstraction, access to finance, as well as market-based approach in agriculture. The ultimate goal being  to maximize farm production with minimum water use.

A small-scale farmer, Mr Ephraim Kahenya and his wife, hosted the field day at their model farm in Nyeri County.  The family is a pioneer in water harvesting technology and they are great examples of how to harvest water and use it efficiently.

“Irrespective of being a farmer in a semi-arid zone of Nyeri County, Smart Water for Agriculture has improved my productivity and has diverted my mind away from over-reliance on rivers.” Says Mr Kahenya, adding, “Such field days are fundamental in offering farmers advice on the most suitable crops to grow with market and water conservation in mind.”

Mr Kahenya inspired other farmers with the possibility of a small-scale farmer making over a million shillings for the sale of garlic planted on 1/16 acre piece of land. “That’s how you increase water productivity: Make every drop count,” he told the farmers.

The series of farmers’ field days organized by MKEWP create awareness and build the capacity of the farmers to enable them to harness and use water resources better.

MKEWP supports activities in line with County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP) for the three counties of Nyeri, Meru and Laikipia. These Plans prioritize the adoption of modern farming methods as opposed to just rain-fed agriculture.

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Ol Pejeta, Fauna and Flora International and MKEWP in Concert!

Water Act 2016

A community member of Mutara shares with WRUA Cluster during the sensitization on Water Act 2016.

58 Water Resources User Associations (WRUA) members from three sub-catchments in the Greater Laikipia landscape participated in a good governance efforts led by MKEWP in partnership with Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Fauna and Flora International.  They learned about the new policies for water, and the devolved functions of County Governments in water management.

The “Guide to the 2016 Water Act” is a MKEWP product that uses a simple guidebook of questions, answers and illustrations to inform water users on the major elements of the new water legislation.  The Guide answers a 100 practical questions that address the critical elements of the Act.

In recent months, the Partnership has been distributing the Guide and empowering communities within the Ewaso basin through the WRUA Clusters – Mutara WRUA Cluster in East Laikipia is the latest beneficiary of the sensitization exercise as part of Fauna and Flora International /OPC Project in the area.

Copies of the Guide to Water Act 2016 were also distributed to enable the WRUA management to continue sensitizing their members in the Pesi, Mutara and Surguroi WRUAs.

The Water Cluster Model is used to address common water conservation and management between river systems that share similar demographics, land use, and water governance challenges. The WRUA Cluster is used to expedite the delivery of messages, management, and technology, as well as to increase the sense of solidarity, planning and purpose across sub-catchment lines. By using this model, MKEWP is able to increase the effectiveness of its outreach and water monitoring activities, and to build comparative advantages between Clusters as a result of increased social cohesion. The Cluster also helps to increase the leverage of WRUAs on water management issues.

Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government funding.

The project is implemented with partnership of FFI, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and LWF through Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP).

For these and other updates, ensure that you follow us on Facebook, Twitter: @MKEWP, or contact MKEWP’s Coordinator – Stanley Kirimi: stanley.kirimi@laikipia.org, to find out how you can join or support MKEWP.

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Smart Water for Agriculture Fund to benefit farmers in the Upper Ewaso Basin

SNV

MKEWP Water Resources Specialist James Mwangi talks to SACCO officials during the workshop in Laikipia.

Forty local SACCOs met to learn about Irrigation Acceleration Platform and how their members can access the newly launched Smart Water For Agriculture (SWA) Fund to invest in sustainable solutions in small-scale farming.

The activity, organized by Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP), had the Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives Ltd (KUSSCO) talk to the local SACCOS. KUSSCO is a umbrella for cooperatives in Kenya.

KUSSCO are the custodians of the SWA fund provided by SNV. They trained the SACCOS on business linkages, access to finances for farming and service providers. SACCOs can now access the SWA Fund and obtain loans for their members who want to use drip kits for irrigation.

SNV

The workshop was organized by MKEWP through SNV’s Smart Water For Agriculture Program

As part of SNV’s goal to link farmers to sustainable water technologies, the SACCOs were also introduced to private service providers. Members can use the Fund to access money to buy irrigation kits from these providers.

MKEWP is the implementing partner for SNV’s Irrigation Accelerated Platform (IAP) in Laikipia County. They are a link between farmers and farming technologies that not only conserve water but also improve farm productivity.