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Water Resources Users Associations (WRUAs) have the responsibility to increase water conservation efforts among their member. This responsibility forms part of their mandate in the protection of water quality and quantity in their sub catchment. The WRUAs serve as a critical bridge between Water Resources Authority and water users within a sub catchment and are critical to improved water resource management.

However, most WRUAs struggle to operate and address water resource issues within their sub catchments due to lack of capacity, resources, and funds to run their operations and activities. They provide few services as a result. Simply put, without resources the WRUA model is not working.

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership is piloting the WRUA agency model in order to address these shortcomings. The WRUA agency model describes an arrangement between WRA and a WRUA, in which the WRA pays the WRUA for specific services. This role is envisaged in the Water Act 2016. The model is yet to be operationalized but it does provide an opportunity to redefine the WRA-WRUA relationship around specified deliverables in a way that also improves WRUA operations, financing and WRA functions.  To accelerate the operationalization of this model, WRA headquarters needs to endorse and approve this approach. Moreover, WRUA capacity needs improvement to undertake specific services contracted by the WRA.

MKEWP is leading adoption of this new model with its development partners the World Bank and CORDAID. They are also working with WRUAs to build their capacity to improve on their governance and service delivery.

There’s some important history here. Private-public partnerships within the basin have been shown to work well. For example, Ngusishi WRUA, in Timau, operates a functional service-based WRUA with support from its membership. Their membership is drawn from commercial growers, small scale farmers, and the WRA. Water fee collections actually provide the WRA with the ability to contract Ngusishi WRUA, and in turn, the WRUA is seen to provide value-added services to its members.

MKEWP will nurture similar partnership in other WRUAs to improve WRUA capacities. To kick-off this model, 7 WRUAs will be selected this year for piloting. Their success will build a case to scale the WRUA agency model within the Ewaso Ng’iro Basin and the Country.

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2019 ANNUAL KWS CONSERVATION EDUCATION WORKSHOP: Fostering Cohesion and Partnerships

Under new leadership, KWS hosted the 2019 annual KWS Conservation Education Workshop. Speaking at the Workshop, KWS Executive Director, General Brig (rtd) John Migui Waweru, endorsed the formation of the Conservation Education Forum. He gave his  full support for its objectives and areas of focus. His main concerns remains the high level of Human Wildlife Conflicts, and stated that 65% of Kenyan land is populated by humans, and the other 35% by wildlife. The proximity of people and wildlife amidst a growing human population would continue to trigger conflict among the two since all depend on the natural habitat for survival.

The Laikipia Forum took the lead on one of the conservation education thematic groups – Public Engagement and Research. The Forum illustrated the achievements of citizen science in the greater Laikipia area, collaboration with regional conservation organizations and county governments, and the engagement of wananchi in conservation data collection.

The Annual KWS Conservation Education Workshop was held on the 21st of May, 2019, at the Kenya Wildlife Services Headquarters where the Conservation Education Forum secretariat and membership pledged to be strategic in its operations, vibrant, all inclusive and above all, promote synergy among all conservation actors in the country. This was the unanimous consensus reached by members of the forum and over 15 conservation organizations attending the workshop.

The Conservation Education Forum includes three thematic areas: Community Outreach, Public Engagement and Research, and Learning Institutions.  The workshop sort to showcase organizational strengths and come up with modalities of leveraging one another for impactful conservation education programming, as well as for the development of a single CE curriculum that could be adopted and used by all conservation education organizations in the country.

While concluding the workshop, the chair of the Conservation Education Forum, Ms. Mary Kirabui highlighted that our primary goal is to promote environmental conservation broadly. Conservation education is but one of many tools that contribute to this goal. She emphasized the need for all the players in the sector to be fully dedicated in their work and to be true ambassadors of wildlife conservation and environmental protection.

The workshop was organized by Kenya Wildlife Service, The Conservation Education Forum Secretariat with support from: WildlifeDirect, Stand Up, Shout Oust (SUSO), Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, National Museums of Kenya, and Africa Nazarene University.

For more information contact Mary Kirabui at mkirabui@kws.go.ke  (0723 594431) and Benedict Omondi at benedict.omondi@laikipia.org (0720 687 479)

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SERVIR Project Launch: Joining Hands to Curb the Opuntia Stricta Menace

KES 2 Million has been set aside by the Laikipia County Government to facilitate the mapping and control the infestation of the invasive species Opuntia Stricta, through the biological control method using cochineal produced in three new greenhouses . Prickly pear has gradually encroached parts of the County and is proving to be a menace as it continues to claim grazing land, making it difficult for both wildlife and livestock to feed.

The Laikipia Forum, in partnership with the County Government through the County Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources, officially launched the SERVIR program on the 16th of May 2019, at Twala Cultural Manyatta in Il Polei group ranch, Laikipia County. SERVIR is supported by RCMRD and funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

The meeting was used to brief stakeholders in Laikipia on the SERVIR project implementation. The meeting created a perfect opportunity for the stakeholders to share their progress and challenges, as well as their targets towards the control and management of the spread of the invasive species in the Northern Kenya Rangelands. It was noted that  most of the organizations are focused on eradication of opuntia stricta, using mechanical methods (uprooting), biologicalmeans  (using cochineal insect raised in green houses), and bio-enterprise methods (that included fruit collection for wine, juice and jellies).

Laikipia Forum shared the SERVIR project implementation plan and engagement mechanisms to help fast-track the training of rangers and project managers on invasive species mapping using an online application. These results of this exercise will be shared with  the County and the Community.

Some of the recommendations made by the team are as follows;

  1. Laikipia and Samburu Counties to facilitate the process of mapping and eradication of oputia stricta and acacia refeciens
  2. There was a need to bring in board all the stakeholders from the counties infested by invasive plant species that were overwhelming rangelands.
  3. County Government to support the local community by providing tools/technology to aid their efforts on invasive species eradication.
  4. Quarterly meetings to report on the progress of eradication.
  5. Train rangers and green house caretakers on data collection.
  6. Include the counties’ livestock departments for rangeland reseeding support.
  7. Develop a monitoring framework to support these activities.  Laikipia County will coordinate this.

A SERVIR Project monitoring steering committee team was formed to oversee the implementation.  They agreed to meet on the 7th of June, 2019, to develop a monitoring framework. The committee will meet at the Twala Cultural Manyatta. World Vision will assist with the logistics for the meeting.

For more information contact: Margaret Wambua (Margaret.wambua@laikipia.org  or +254 722 369387 ) and John Letai, (jletai7@gmail.com or +254 722 670503 )

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NKCEWG Interpretive Peer Evaluation Review Workshop

The Northern Kenya Conservation Education Working Group, (NKCEWG) agreed to work under a structured and well-coordinated system of operations at their 4th performance evaluation workshop. The two day workshop was held on the 10th and 11th of May, 2019, and brought together over 10 organizations working in the conservation education field within the Laikipia region and its environs.

Hosted at the Lewa Conservancy Education Centre and facilitated by San Diego Zoo Global Program, the meeting focused on creating a clear platform for NKCEWG peer evaluation through easy identification of partner organizations, commitments to specific practices, and a clear roadmap of activities to be completed by end of September 2019.

The conservation educators in attendance were taken through an evaluation model that vividly highlights interpretive performance and helps provide feedback to colleagues and partners. Given the focus of this training, the educators learned how to provide constructive feedback to other education partners.

Organizations in attendance for the workshop included: Northern Rangelands Trust, Ewaso Lions,  Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Save the Elephants, Lewa Conservancy, MARWEL Foundation, and Ol Pejeta Conservancy

The Northern Kenya Conservation Education Working Group seeks to transform conservation education in Kenya through a holistic and collaborative approach amongst its partnership. The working group believes that through this approach they will be in a position to achieve positive impacts of peaceful coexistence between communities and wildlife, as well as to enhance sustainable livelihoods for all stakeholders.

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Laikipia Youth Farmers Establish a Youth Forum for Information Sharing and Learning

40 Laikipia youth farmers, with the support of the SNV Smart Water for Agriculture Program, came together on May 4, 2019 at Beisa Hotel Nanyuki, to establish a forum for information sharing and learning. The meeting highlighted the challenges facing youth in agriculture.  Farmers face an abundance of challenges from farm inputs to climate change; from access to money for farm improvements and volatile markets, to access to improved seed and adequate storage. These challenges are no different for our young farmers. 

Despite the challenges, agriculture can be a sector of opportunity for Laikipia’s youth. A World Bank report on youth employment, explicitly stated that “if young people can gain access to available resources and use them in conjunction with strategies to make agriculture more productive, the results could be transformative for livelihoods and economic growth.”  

In order to catalyze more activities in support of young farmers, the Group agreed to establish a social media platform (WhatsApp) for information sharing and learning:

  1. The members agreed to join the EMU-SACCO as a financial partner in advancing their Agri business enterprise.
  2. The group elected a Chairperson, Jecinta Mwangi, to represent the group in County and National forums.
  3. The group requested MKEWP to consider their membership and possible representation to the MKEWP Council
  4. The group further planned to meet quarterly for follow-up and learning on individual progress, emerging innovations and collaborative ventures.

MKEWP will continue to support this group to improve water productivity for agriculture and developing sustainable livelihoods for the youth.

For more information, please contact James Mwangi, at james.mwangi@laikipia.org and Jecinta Mwangi at jecintanyaguthiimwangi@gmail.com


Watershed Trains Laikipia County Officials and Stakeholders on Digital WASH/WRM Reporting

The County Government of Laikipia, through the Water, Environment and Natural Resources Ag. Chief Officer, Mr. Evans Kamau gave a full commitment to the use of digital mechanisms to report on WASH/WRM data in the County.

Speaking at the Watershed Work Package 2 Training Workshop, organized for the Laikipia Water and Environment County officials and watershed program stakeholders, the chief officer and other stakeholders acknowledged the efforts made by the Watershed program through its implementing partners: the Laikipia Forum and MKEWP, Kenya Water for Health Organization (KWAHO), Akvo Foundation, and the Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network (KEWASNET) to ensure that the County Government upholds transparency and full accountability to the electorate.

The training workshop took place on the 15th and 16th of May, 2019, in Nanyuki. It was a follow-up training after the “Election Monitoring Workshop” in Arusha, Tanzania, earlier in the year. Mr. Alex Kabuki, the sub-county Water Officer for Laikipia, proposed that sub county water officers be trained on the Real Simple Reporting (RSR), a tool that had been introduced in the Arusha Workshop.

For two days, participants were trained on how to collect, analyse and report on WASH/WRM data using the online reporting platform: Real Simple Reporting (RSR) and Akvo Flow, a tool used to help in collection of data during surveys.

All stakeholders at the Nanyuki workshop agreed the parameters for future data collection. The outcome of the training and the draft RSR tool, created specifically for the County, was shared with the CEC for further review and input to ensure that it reflects the true priorities of the County Government.

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EMU-SACCO The Solution for Small-Holder Farmers in Ewaso “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”

Ewaso Maji Users (EMU) SACCO’s recent engagement with the chairpersons of the Water Resource Users Association (WRUAs) has cemented the role that the Savings Corporation can play in the community.  30 WRUAs were represented in the meeting. This access will give the SACCO access to about 4,000 small holder farmers in the region. The SACCO comes in as a focused and sustainable means of entrenching a water harvesting culture in our people.

For years we have taken the water resources around us for granted. We have misused our rivers without taking into consideration the grave impact we have on our environment and the impact we will have on our future generations.

The SACCO is starting at the grassroots, at the household, right at the farmer’s doorstep. This is our sure strategy to ensure a bottom-up approach that will multiply membership and enhance adoption of water-saving techniques and technology.  There is a great re-awakening among the wananchi in our country today – that is absolutely necessary for us to pick ourselves up and become the drivers of change.

EMU-SACCO is not just promoting water harvesting and storage;  it is also promoting efficient use of water through appropriate irrigation technologies that will ensure greater resilience and livelihood security, free from dependence on the ever changing rainfall patterns that have proven to be totally undependable.

The SACCO achieves this goal through a one-of-a-kind loan system, where the farmer gives us a proposal of what they need in their farm in terms of water infrastructure. For example, if one requests for a water pan and drip system costing about Ksh.150,000 we link them with companies that will give us a subsidized price for the technology and work, and they will install the system on our member’s farm. They use the proceeds from the improved agricultural production to pay back the loan.

It’s time we all take charge of our future and be kind to mother nature . This is a first step the help her forgive our environmental sins and take us back to the natural balance we need for our survival.

With a registration fee of Ksh.1000, share capital of Ksh.2,000, and a savings account of Ksh.5,000 and above, you can become our member and join in this great cause.

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Using Community Led Solutions to Solve Community Problems


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MKEWP enters into a new Partnership with CORDAID

MKEWP adds a new partner in the Ewaso Basin.

In the beginning of the New Year, MKEWP entered into a new Partnership with CORDAID, the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid, as a local implementing partner for the Partners for Resilience (PfR) program. The PfR program is an alliance of the Netherlands Red Cross (lead agency), CARE Netherlands, Cordaid, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, and Wetlands International.


Ms Zeituna Roba, Cordaid Program Manager and Partners for Resilience Country Coordinator briefing partcipants at a familiarization meeting among Cordaid, MKEWP and Ngare Ndare, Ngare Nything and Isiolo WRUAs at Kisima Centre, Meru County

An initial one year contract between CORDAID and MKEWP will see the partnership support the operationalization of the newly established EMU SACCO and implement the WRUA agency model.

WRUA Agency – “Commercializing WRUA Services”

Within the basin, WRUAs serve as a critical bridge between the Water Resources Authority (WRA) and water users at sub catchment level who are critical to improved water resource management.

Most WRUAs (Water Resource User Associations) struggle to operate and address water resource issues within their sub catchments due to lack of capacity, resources, and funds to run their operations and activities. They provide few services as a result, especially when asked to provide value-added practices in support of water management.

MKEWP will pilot a WRUA agency model to address these shortcomings. The WRUA agency model is an arrangement between the WRA and a WRUA, in which the WRA pays the WRUA for specific services rendered. This role is envisaged in the Water Act 2016. WRUAs will provide services valuable to WRA and WRUA members. In return, WRA and WRUA members will pay WRUAs to finance their operations and professional/technical support. The WRA can do this because increased WRUA efficiency results in the more effective collection of water use fees and payments.

Cordaid will support MKEWP to build awareness on this model, build the capacity of WRUAs, lobby at County and National government for adoption, and provide the necessary support for implementation of the model in two (2) WRUAs.


The World Bank has again joined MKEWP with continued support to the Partnership for two years. The new Bank grant will support the expansion of the WRUA Agency Model to an additional 5 Water Resource User Associations, and assist these WRUAs along lines similar to the CORDAID work. The close collaboration between these two grants – CORDAID and World Bank, is expected to yield a model of WRUA financing and operations that can be embraced throughout the country




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emusacco logo

The official Emusacco logo



The Ewaso Maji Users Association (EMU SACCO), the newest innovation by MKEWP – Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership, is working to enhance water security for communities through financial solutions for Laikipia farmers

As part of MKEWP’s goal to improve water security in the Ewaso River Basin, EMU-SACCO has been developed to finance water investments at farm level. The water crisis in the Ewaso River Basin has been a never-ending challenge for our communities, too often accompanied by conflicts among the people.

Unreliable dry season river flows have led to general misuse of the already limited resource. This situation pits communities against each other, and puts a lot of them at a disadvantage.

To ease pressure on the already limited resource, MKEWP wants to increase and accelerate innovate water financing for water investment at farm level.

EMU SACCO is a community-based financier that supports farmers access to finances for household level investment in water harvesting, storage and efficient used. We encourage water users to be self-reliant and to invest in on-farm and community water conservation infrastructure.


Our objects are to:

  • Bridge financial gaps in water investment.
  • Provide a savings platform for water users
  • Offer a borrowing fund to help water users finance water storage and efficient use.
  • Promote water conservation within the Ewaso Basin.


  • We offer affordable and flexible rates.
  • We provide linkages between water users and modern technology service providers.
  • We aim at economic improvement of livelihoods of water users.
  • Link farmers to markets and business opportunities.

EMU-SACCO offers a revolutionary approach to water sustainability in our communities. We use a well-known Kenya credit and savings tool to accelerate solutions and ownership to our water conservation and management challenges.

EMU-SACCO is hosted by the Mount Kenya Water Partnership (MKEWP). Our offices are located at the Laikipia Forum premises in Nanyuki.

Join us – we are 50 members strong already. Please stop by for a visit and become a member!!