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More Crop for a Drop of Water!

Farmers day,SNV

MKEWP: Farmers listen to an extension officer next to a water  pan during the Smart Water For Agriculture Field Day

“More Produce, Less Water” was the theme of September’s Farmers Field Day held in Nkando area, Laikipia County.

“Managing the scarce water resources: That’s what Smart Water For Agriculture is all about – farmers learning about how they can reap more crop for a drop of water.” SNVs Local Capacity Builder, Joyce Karimi, said.

The 5th edition of the Farmer’s Day was organized by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) and brought together over 25 exhibitors and 250 farmers from 15 Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) in the counties of Meru, Nyeri and Laikipia.

The event was hosted at a model farm owned by a small-scale farmer, Mr. Patrick Maina and his wife. They are water champions, who have really adopted best water practices.  Their farm provides experiential learning for farmers and is a success story in the Upper Ewaso basin.

Smart Water For Agriculture

Mr Maina engages with farmers on water conservation in small-scale farming

“If ¾ of us here today can adopt a roof harvesting system, we will take the pressure off our rivers. Users downstream will have something to drink,” says Mr. Maina, whose water pan collects over 2 million Cubic litres of rainwater.

Traversing through the farm, engaging with exhibitors, and talking with County Government extension officers, the farmers were trained on water harvesting and storage, drip irrigation technology, fish farming, poultry farming, dairy farming, conservation agriculture, and the application of green energy. .

The next Farmers Field day will be held on the 9th October 2018 in Naro Moru, Nyeri County.

Want to join MKEWP in its activities? Want to be a part of the next Farmers Field Day? Please contact MKEWP Water Resources Specialist, James Mwangi.

Email:  James.Mwangi@laikipia.org

Tel:  +254 746 607 181

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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