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Help Us Wipe Out Rabies in Laikipia

Laikipia Rabies Vaccination campaign

In 2017 over 9000 dogs were vaccinated during the Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign. This year, the campaign  will held over 8 weekends in months of October and November and targets 15,000 animals.

 

In 2015, the first Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign (LRVC) vaccinated a total of 821 domestic dogs and cats.  That number and coverage has since increased with last year’s efforts reaching over 9,000 dogs and cats in the county.

The 2018 LRVC plans to widen its scope reaching out to more communities by returning to areas where vaccination has previously taken place and expanding coverage into new communities to get the numbers to 15,000. Is it possible? Absolutely!

We, as Laikipians, can work together to eradicate this deadly virus. With dedicated partnerships with the local residents, County Government and LRVC partners, we can contribute to making Laikipia, Kenya’s first rabies free county.

The LRVC, in partnership with the Laikipia County Government, will run for 8 weekends in the months of October and November. The campaign’s focus is in rural communities, which have the greatest risk of rabies exposure as well as the least access to rabies vaccination and treatment. However, this year the campaign will also include semi-urban centres with relatively large dog populations, such as Nanyuki.

In Kenya, the majority of annual rabies-related deaths occur where vaccination programs are limited or non-existent, generally where low income communities reside. In Laikipia specifically, we know that there are significant numbers of undocumented rabies cases in domestic animals, wildlife and humans annually.

If we take informed steps, we can eradicate rabies from domestic dog populations in  Laikipia  County in an effort towards accomplishing Kenya’s 2030 vision of being an entirely rabies free nation. We will however not be able to reach this goal without your help.

How You Can Help

Your support is crucial to our efforts. The number of students, vets and community members who are always willing to volunteer is always encouraging but we do need more financial support.

The 2018 LRVC, is predicted to cost approximately Ksh 3.5M (USD $35, 000). With this money the campaign will be able to cover the costs of:

  • Essential medical supplies,
  • Transportation,
  • Education programmes

Contributions can be directed to;

Mpala Research Trust

AIC 0102895062002

Standard Chartered Bank, Nanyuki

OR

MPESA Paybill Number: 310066

Account Number: LRVC 2018

Online donations at; https://give.classy.org/LRVC

For more information, please contact James Ngatia

Rabies is an almost invariably fatal disease for both humans and animals. It has been shown that mass vaccination of domestic dog is the most effective way to end the Rabies virus cycle in-step towards eradication. Vaccination of domestic animals therefore is a critical step that we should all participate in for the protection of domestic animals, our already fragile wildlife population and most importantly, public health.

 

Together, we can eradicate rabies in Laikipia!

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Water Crisis: MKEWP Meets to deliberate on Government’s Directive On Water Intake Permits

Mount kenya Ewaso Water Partnership

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership executive committee address the media after deliberations on way forward. From L: MKEWP Coordinator Mr Stanley Kirimi, Ngusishi WRUA Chair Mr Muthuri Muriithi and Committee member Christine Shikuku.

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership Executive Committee called for an urgent meeting to address the water crisis in the upper basin

The crisis, a result of a GOK directive to revoke all water intake permits, is the subject of great debate in the basin.  Following the directive, all abstractions from Mt. Kenya Rivers have been suspended with the exception of Nanyuki Water and Sewerage Company (NAWASCO) and water service providers linked to municipalities.

In the meeting, the executive committee acknowledged the implications of the directive and the severity of the situation to water users, especially those living in rural communities.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the MKEWP Coordinator, Mr. Stanley Kirimi, said that the Partnership supported the Government’s directive. “It is long overdue, there should be sanity and order in how we manage our natural resources. Mt. Kenya is a critical catchment for millions of people, their livestock and livelihoods.”

The Partnership includes over 30,000 households that have raised the alarm on how the directive has been executed.  “We support the directive, but our members and water users with valid permits are being harassed,” reads part of the statement.

Officers executing the directive have been urged to request for permits from water users before taking any action. “It is important they ask for these documents, to separate those with legal permits from those without valid documents,” said Mr, Kirimi, adding, “The cost of building these intakes is very high, and destroying those with valid permits is a retrogressive move.”

Water users have been encouraged to operate within the law.  “We would like to tell our members to ensure that they have valid permits to present when requested by officers of the Government.”

“We all want swift, sustainable solutions to this crisis, because water is an essential resource for all,” the coordinator told the media. Indeed, schools, clinics and thousands of homes supported by community water projects have been affected by the recent directive.

As part of its action plan on the Mt. Kenya water crisis, MKEWP is helping with advocacy that will be addressed to the Government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee formed to look at the water allocation in the region.

The efforts will highlight crucial issues that the Committee should consider when addressing sustainable solutions.

Mount kenya Ewaso Water Partnership

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership executive committee addresses the media after deliberations on way Forward. From L: MKEWP Coordinator Mr Stanley Kirimi, Ngusishi WRUA Chair Mr Muthuri Muriithi and Committee member Chsistine Shikuku

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Lessons from Farmers Field Day in Laikipia and Meru Counties

Mutara

Community members from Mutara are trained by extension officers on sustainable agricultural practices and water use during Farmers day in the area.

With the Kenyan weathermen predicting reduced rainfall in coming months, MKEWP joined farmers at field events held in Laikipia and Meru Counties.

The Partnership joined with partners at Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Kisima Farm.

Mutara Farmers Trip

The Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) from Mutara and Suguroi in Laikipia County rely on irrigation for farming and often experience hard times in the dry months of the year.

During the field trip, farmers met with extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture shared with them skills on rainwater harvesting, storage and effective water use. Representatives from the Ministry of Energy also demonstrated the use of biogas as a means of reducing energy costs and to encourage greater self-sufficiency at households.

The Farmer’s Day in Mutara was supported by Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project  which is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government . The project is implemented with partnership of FFI, LWF and Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Kisima Farmer’s Day

The Farmer’s Field Day at the Kisima Farm in Meru County brought together exhibitors and farmers from the counties of Meru, Laikipia and Isiolo.

Kisima Farmers Day

Farmers interact with agriculture technology providers during the Farmer’s Day at the Kisima Farm

The Day’s theme was “Promote Innovative Technology for Enhanced Agriculture” and the event involved over 35 agricultural exhibitors, where farmers learnt about effective techniques of increasing water productivity in agriculture.

MKEWP helped 52 farmers from Mutara and Suguroi WRUAs in Laikipia to attend the farmer’s field day through the SNV-Smart Water for Agriculture program.

The MKEWP/SNV program promotes farmer-led initiatives that encourage the use of effective technology to conserve water in agriculture.

For more information on the field days and the activities of MKEWP please contact:

James Mwangi Mwangi- MKEWP Water Resources Specialist

James.Mwangi@laikipia.org

+254 746 607 181

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New Leadership for the MKEWP Council: Moses Muthoki and George Kobia are elected!

Moses Muthoki

(L) Mr Moses Muthoki is the Head of Community Department at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy while Mr George Kobia is Meru County Chief Officer for Water

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership held its third Council meeting of 2018. The Council meeting brings together partners from over 14 organizations. In July, one of the agenda items was election of a new Chairperson and Deputy.

Council Election

For the first time since the establishment of Partnership, the council resolved to have two individuals occupying the position of chair.

The post of deputy chairperson was annulled and council approved to have representation from both private and government as co-chairs. This decision is in spirit of partnership from which MKEWP’s establishment was based.

Mr Moses Muthoki, the Head of Community Development at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy), and Mr George Kobia, Chief Officer for Water for Meru County) were both proposed and unanimously voted as the new chairpersons of MKEWP Council.

The two will now lead the Council and the Partnership in implementing and championing Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Upper Ewaso Basin for the next one year.

The Council instructed the secretariat to revise the Partnership’s Charter, which was adopted in 2016. The Charter defines terms of reference, roles and responsibilities that guide the operations of the Council.

MKEWP Council

MKEWP Council Members during their meeting on 6th July 2018. The Council elected two individual to co-chair the Partnership moving forward

Communication Strategy Deliberation

The MKEWP Secretariat also presented the draft Communication Strategy that proposes to work with Council members and WRUA Clusters as the key communication channels in the next five years.

The MKEWP Communication Strategy will provide a framework for MKEWP’s partners to engage effectively, build greater trust between members, create awareness and will build their capacity to communicate best practises in water governance.

 

For more information on MKEWP, the Council or the Communications Strategy, please contact:

Stanley Kirimi -MKEWP Coordinator

Stanley.kirimi@laikipia.org

+254 746 607 181

 

 

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County Government engages Laikipia Tourism Association over formation of a tourism board

Catherine Waruguru

Laikipia Women Representative Catherine Waruguru addresses the forum that brought together County Government of Laikipia and the private sector in tourism

The County Government of Laikipia hosted an engagement and consultative meeting with the private sector in Nanyuki to mark the first steps to developing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for tourism.

On 6th July, the Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA) joined the County Government in consultations on how best to promote sustainable tourism and to discuss the formation of a Laikipia Tourism Board. The eventual Board will be interfaces between the Public and the Private Sectors in Laikipia. Its formation however, is dependent on the passage of the Laikipia County Tourism Bill, which is yet to be tabled in the County Assembly.

The LTA, through its Executive Committee urged the County Executive to expedite the passage of the bill which will form the basis of strategies for investment, growth and sustainability in the tourism sector.

In a rejoinder, Finance County Executive Committee Member (CECM) Mr. Murungi, who represented Laikipia Governor, Ndiritu Muriithi, gave an assurance of accelerated passage of the Bill by the County Assembly.

Once this Bill is passed, the tourism board will be involved in county policies and programs related to sustainable tourism sector development. Its success will see Laikipia provide leadership as the first of the 47 counties to develop and test the effectiveness of a PPP in county tourism development.

The County promised a subsidized levy to service providers who will submit waiver request through the Association a move that Laikipia Women Representative Catherine Waruguru, said would strengthen membership of the association.

This comes as great news for Laikipia tourism service providers who are interested in joining the Association as members. The Association is currently on a membership drive to bring together more than 100 Laikipia tourism service providers.

The Association is keen to make Laikipia a model county for sustainable tourism – their focus is on sustainable tourism growth, employment, environmental responsibility, recycling and sustainable energy technology and equitable benefit sharing.

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Solar-Powered Fence Takes Shape in Arjiju Village

Disney Project

Margarate Wambua LWF Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Wilfred Mejooli, Makuarian Rangelands Coordinator and Senteu Ole Kimiri ILMAMUSI CFA Manager take a walk along the pole line erected around the settlement area in Arjiju Village.

Community members residing in Arjiju Village, Mukogodo, have lived in harmony with elephants for decades. But changes in land use over the years, food security and population growth, Maasai communities have started practising small-scale agriculture.

Yet, Arjiju Village has not enjoyed a full maize crop because of elephants raids on their farms. With the village located at the periphery of Mukogodo forest, humans, livestock and wildlife share common resources such as water and pasture. Owing to competition for these resources, persistent Human-Elephant Conflicts (HEC) have been witnessed

A solar-powered fence on the Mukogodo landscape seeks to reduce the occurrence and frequency of Human-Elephant Conflict.

Construction of the fence is part of Disney Conservation Project is part of activities recommended by ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association during the initial consultative meetings.

ILMAMUSI

The community in Mukogodo previously used a barbed-wired fence to protect their crops

This fence is a trial effort and replaces a barbed-wire fence in an effort to protect farms produce and support livelihoods.

The poles are up and the electric wires will be installed in the next few weeks, as the project makes progress in Mukogodo. Almost 45 acres and the Village dispensary are enclosed by the Fence.

Community members in Arjiju met Laikipia County Governor, Mr. Ndiritu Murithi, where they held discussions on Human Wildlife Conflicts and how the solar-powered fencing can be used to benefit the community.

To learn more about the Arjiju Solar Fence or to learn more about the Disney supported Mukogodo Project, please contact:

Margaret Wambua

margaret.wambua@laikipia.org

+254 726 500 260

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Illegal Water Abstraction Impacts Mount Kenya

 

Mt Kenya Water Abstraction

Mount Kenya’s moorlands is now littered with pipes used for illegal water intakes

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) joined the Mount Kenya Trust to survey water abstraction in the northern moorlands of Mt. Kenya.

The survey was conducted to look at compliance and how water abstraction is affecting the mountain.

The trip to the mountain revealed the discouraging state of affairs on water resource management in the most critical water tower in Kenya. The moorland, which falls under the supervision of Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service on Mt Kenya has witnessed increased human activity evident from numerous illegal water intakes constructed along the streams.

12 water intakes in a radius area of about 10 km were found during the survey. They sit between 3200 to 4000 metres above sea level. The highest water intake recorded during the survey was at 3987 metres above sea level – an indication that water users are going higher and higher up the mountain to abstract water.

Other key findings included construction of several water intakes too close to each other in the same stream. In one of the rivers, three intakes had been constructed within a two hundred metre stretch.  Moreover, the designs of these intakes do not allow the mandatory environmental flows downstream.

Springs and tarn are the major sources of water at the moorland. The numerous intakes are a threat to the existence of the tarns. They impact the ecosystem, the integrity of the watershed, and impact tourism and landscapes.

Furthermore, the moorlands are littered with plastic from water abstraction activities and routine maintenance.

Water abstraction , Water intakes, Mt kenya,

The intakes are also constructed too close to each other in the same stream

The intakes are connected to pipelines that snake their way down the terrain to serve the needs of users downstream in areas of Timau Sub-Catchment, and impact residents of Meru, Laikipia and Isiolo counties.

Water abstraction in the moorland puts pressure on the catchment and is not sustainable in the long run, says the MKEWP Coordinator, Stanley Kirimi.

Indeed, Mt Kenya is the most significant water tower as a source of two of six water basins in the country

The Coordinator adds, “There is need to contain the situation, rationalize the offtake of water, and to adopt common intakes for effective water resource management.

“Common intakes allow users to share the resource equitably, and allow the recommended 30% of the river to flow downstream as ‘environmental flow’.” This is a requirement of the Water laws.

All the illegal intakes fall within Meru County boundaries and are subject to the authority of the Regional Water Resource Authority in Nanyuki.

We visited the moorland and documented the water intakes in video below:

 

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MKEWP Gets a Communication Strategy!

MKEWP, LWF, Communication Strategy

MKEWP stakeholders discuss during the inception workshop for the Communication Strategy

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) is developing its first Communication Strategy.

MKEWP’s stakeholders met for an inception workshop to discuss the best way to serve the information and communication needs of its partners given their diverse nature.

The workshop was designed to develop a draft strategy to address the Partnership’s communication needs and lay the ground for a robust brand identity.

Stakeholders at the forum agreed on a strategy that will drive “effective communication to promote a sense of ownership and trust between MKEWP stakeholders.”

The workshop furthermore, presented a platform for discussions where the participants settled on structure for the strategy.

The communications strategy will complement the Strategic Plan which focuses on building stakeholder participation and coordination in its first five years. The strategy will also be key to the implementation of the Financial Sustainability Plan which gives realistic options on how the Strategic Plan can be financed.

The communication strategy provides a framework for MKEWP to address awareness, learning and knowledge management, advocacy, informed decision-making and triggering behavior change.

Stakeholders will meet to review the draft communication strategy before it’s presented to MKEWP Council in July for approval.

The secretariat’s communication department, led by LWF will play a central role in the implementation of the strategy over the next five years

The following partners joined MKEWP during the workshop:

Once complete the partnership will embark on implementation of the communication strategy to effectively address its diverse partners on outreach and mandate.

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Joint effort – A big win for Rugariga Springs!

MKEWP Water Resource Specialist James Mwangi joins the community in Teleswani for tree planting exercise to mark World Environment Day.

 On June 5th, LWF and the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) marked the World Environment Day in a tree planting exercise at Rugariga Springs.

The spring that gushes from the slopes of Mt Kenya, in Teleswani sub-catchment, was picked by the local community to undergo rehabilitation.  In recent years, the splendour of Rugariga has been threatened by deforestation.

MKEWP, together with Mount Kenya Trust, joined efforts to protect the sub-catchment. Through the Water Resources User Groups (WRUAs) and Community Forest Associations (CFAs), the Partnership mobilized over 400 community members and 100 school children who braved the morning downpour to participate in the exercise.

The exercise brought together members from Sirimon CFA, Teleswani community water projects, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Teleswani, Ngusishi and Timau WRUAs and pupils from Kirimira and Kiambogo primary schools.

In the end, 3500 trees donated by Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) were planted to protect the spring that supplies River Teleswani. 2500 of the trees planted were indigenous while 1000 were giant bamboo seedlings, which are planted to create a favourable habitat for spring and river protection.

Senior forester, Mr Simiyu, from Kenya Forest Service, noted that the tree planting was in line with government’s ambitious plan aimed at increasing the country’s forest cover from the current 7% to 10% by the year 2022.

World Environment Day

A Pupil from Kirimara Primary school plants a tree as community member looks on

Mr Simiyu, however, challenged the CFAs to nurture the trees. “Planting the trees here today is a mere 2% of our efforts, but taking care of them is a crucial 98%.” Addressing the incessant encroachment of the catchment, the authority requested the community to be vigilant in safeguarding the resource

As a measure to protect the young trees, Ontulili CFA Chairman, Mr Magiri, announced that grazing of cattle will longer be allowed in the catchment.

Protection of catchments in the area is crucial to the Partnership’s agenda, a reality that Water Resources Specialist, James Mwangi, says, “can be achieved through collective action and responsibility.”

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LTA Member – Il Ngwesi Lodge Takes Community Award at Sustainable Tourism Summit

Laikipia Toursim Association

Il Ngwesi’s Community Conservancy  is flanked by LTA’s secretary (Second Left) as he receives an award for their efforts in Skills Development For Economic Community Empowerment during the Green Tourism Summit.

Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA) partnered with Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda (STTA) in June to host the fourth annual Green Tourism Summit. STTA is a private organization that advocates for sustainability and best practices in tourism.
The summit in Nyeri brought together tourism players from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Republic of South Africa to engage and share success stories on development of sustainable tourism in Africa.
LTA shared the Association’s plans to make Laikipia a model county for sustainable tourism through efforts between the County and the private tourism sector. It shared its progressive proposal for a public private partnership in Laikipia that would drive training, financing, and support to sustainable tourism enterprise. The Laikipia Sustainable Tourism Project Proposal can be accessed here

Part of the Summit was dedicated to an examination of wildlife conservancies that were recognized for leadership in accordance to the Summit’s theme “High Impact Social Development Programs by Conservancies/Ranches “.

Laikipia Tourism Association Secretary John Kingori shares with participants the associations experience in promoting sustainable tourism Landscape

LTA flagged three of its members for awards. Mugie, Ol Pejeta and Il Ngwesi Conservancies were nominated in the category of Skills Development For Economic Community Empowerment, competing against other conservancies in the Maasai Mara.
Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy stood out, winning the overall award in this category for its efforts to impact communities in seven neighborhoods.
These awards:
1. Identify, recognize and celebrate contribution to sustainable tourism and conservation.
2. Collect data and generate information for decision making in sustainable tourism
3. Raise awareness and promote sustainable tourism and transformative conservation.

The Laikipia Tourism Association supports social development programs by tourism providers as an indicator and measure of sustainability in the industry. Want to know more?? To become a member of the LTA, benefit from its services and access to information, or to find out more about sustainable tourism, contact LTA Secretary-John Kingori on cell: 0714797931 or email: john.kingori@laikipia.org,