“Plant a tree and leave a green legacy,” Deputy County Commissioner, Esther Mwamure.
Storm Water and Environment Management Forum (SWEMF) is a Community Based Organization, initiated by Francis Githui, and was registered in 2018. They have been at the forefront of efforts for environmental conservation and management along our local rivers. SWEMF aims to rehabilitate and conserve various riparian lands including those of Likii and Nanyuki Rivers.
On 24th October 2020, SWEMF invited their partners for the official launch of the rehabilitation of 9.8 Kilometres of Nanyuki river and 8.5km of the Likii river.
The event brought together partners such as
- Hearts of Green
- Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership
- Mount Kenya Trust
- Kenya Water Towers
- Nanyuki WRUA
- William Holden
- Youth Affairs department, NEMA
- Water Resources Authority (WRA)
- Laikipia County’s Ministry of Water Environment and Natural Resources as well as the National Government.
Pollution, deforestation and encroachment have riddled these river areas. During the campaign, people were encouraged to embrace sustainable building technologies and to avoid construction in riparian areas. People were also discouraged from carrying out their farming activities on riparian areas as this results in river pollution, especially for downstream water users.
Esther Mwamure, Deputy County Commissioner Laikipia, pointed out that the Kazi Mtaani youths involved in the initiative, had already removed more than 100 tonnes of garbage from the Nanyuki and Likii rivers and would continue with their clean-up efforts to ensure that we have clean and safe water for our use.
The importance of planting trees was reiterated throughout the event as trees would prevent erosion and help prevent pollution. Trees also bring about clean and fresh air and would help in stabilizing the river banks.
Many speakers also pointed to the importance of planting trees to help Laikipia and Kenya attain the required 10% tree cover commitment.
Chairman Githui, also mentioned that through their edible rivers initiative, many local community members would benefit. Francis believes that through this initiative many nutritional problems prevalent in the county can be avoided and that the project will also be beneficial to wildlife coexisting with people and will inevitably mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
To read more on SWEMF’s environmental initiatives, click on the link below.
All partners emphasized their willingness to collaborate on the restoration and rehabilitation of the rivers and their banks. Hearts of Green said that they would be willing to partner with other organizations to grow around 200,000 seedlings.
The launch was a successful event and is linked to the greening effort of conserving 100 acres of green spaces for Nanyuki@100. The event set a good precedent for river and environmental conservation in the County. Hopefully, everyone who planted a tree during the event can continue monitoring and nurture it.