In a commendable collaboration focused on the restoration of arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) in Kenya, the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have forged a strong and enduring relationship. With a shared vision to revitalize the ecosystems of Kenya’s Northern Laikipia Rangelands, their joint efforts have yielded significant progress in the pursuit of sustainable development.
Under the auspices of the FAO GEF-6 Project on Restoration of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya through Bio-Enterprise Development and other Incentives (TRI), LWF has been instrumental in providing crucial technical support and guidance to the ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association (CFA). The focus has been on the implementation of various activities, including the development of the beekeeping value chain, rangeland restoration, and integrated water resources management (IWRM).
One key aspect of their collaboration has been the establishment of micro catchments in Il Ngwesi and Lekurruki, where 3,700 micro catchments have been created and seeded on the severely degraded Northern Laikipia Rangelands.
Through this partnership, support has as well been provided to the Dupoto Cooperative and its members in the beekeeping value chain. Through comprehensive trainings and the development of a business plan, the capacity of the cooperative and its members has been enhanced, creating opportunities for engagement with investors. Despite the challenges posed by insecurity and invasions from neighboring counties, the project has made significant headway.
The implementation of Sub Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) has proven critical for mobilizing resources from Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs). Notably, the project supported the review of the Ngare Ndare WRUA SCMP, constitution, and a working Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Water Resources Authority (WRA), laying the foundation for enhanced water management and governance.
Water access and infrastructure have also received attention, with the rehabilitation of five key water projects, including springs and boreholes. These efforts have improved water access for communities heavily reliant on these sources in the absence of permanent rivers emanating from the forest. Through stakeholder collaboration and continuous capacity building of the ILMAMUSI CFA, the project has demonstrated success and progress toward long-term sustainability.
Building on this momentum, LWF and FAO are thrilled to announce the signing of a newly-formed Letter of Agreement, marking the beginning of the third year of implementation for the restoration initiative. With a shared commitment to environmental conservation and community development, this extended partnership promises to further bolster the restoration efforts in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. By harnessing the strengths of both organizations and their dedication to promoting sustainable practices, the collaboration aims to create a lasting impact on the landscape and the lives of the local communities.
Through their continued alliance, LWF and FAO will continue to support the revitalization of ecosystems, empower local communities, and pave the way for a more sustainable future in the Northern Laikipia Rangelands.