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Laikipia Tourism Association – Registration & Membership Drive

Laikipia Tourism Association

Laikipia Tourism Association  (LTA)Secretary John Kingori speaks to attendees about LTA’s new membership during the Mt Kenya ASK Show.

The Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA) is launching its membership drive in a move that will see the association bring together more than 100 tourism service providers.

Everyone’s invited – Hoteliers, tour operators and travel agents, first food outlets, coffee shops and restaurants, souvenir and gift shops, homestays and Airbnb operators, lodges, campsites, wildlife conservancies and other destinations……You are legible to join the LTA membership!

The association represents the Laikipia tourism industry at County, national and regional levels on matters impacting tourism. It’s LTA’s intention to ensure Laikipia is recognized as the most diversified, sustainable tourism destination in East Africa.

Through the membership, service providers will enjoy an array of benefits that include influencing the government to have fair and appropriate business permits, licenses, and taxation. This is consistent with LTA’s support of the “single business permit”.

Members of LTA will also have access to tools and technology that support sustainable tourism in the County/Country, and access to a skilled labour pool to enhance efficient service delivery. In addition, the association will negotiate financial benefits like insurance, inter-county rates, and destination incentives, among others benefits.

While the membership is voluntary, all tourism service providers in Laikipia and is surrounds that comply with the law and possess a valid business permit are welcome to subscribe.

The one-off registration fee is KSH 5,000 and with an annual (2018) membership fee of the same.

For registration and more details on LTA, contact John King’ori (LTA Secretary): john.kingori@laikipia.org, +254 714 797931.

Laikipia Tourism Association is supported by the secretariat of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum. The LTA is one of 7 other associations in Laikipia supported by the LWF.

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The Opuntia Cactus Meets Its Match

Opuntia Workshop

John Kingori the director of environment Laikipia County addresses the workshop participants on the importance of collaborative efforts towards eradication of Opuntia

Opuntia species have been present in Laikipia for over 50 years. These species were initially introduced for ornamental and live fencing purposes. However, over the past 15 years, some of these species have spread and become aggressively invasive, covering hundreds of acres of land.

This spread has included invasion of conservation areas, rangelands and cultivation areas where it is responsible for a range of negative impacts that have not been systematically quantified.

A greater percentage of Opuntia stricta species presence within Laikipia County is recorded in Laikipia North particularly areas around Il Polei, Makurian, Morupusi Group Ranches, and Dol-Dol town.

To control the plant species, the Laikipia County government mobilized stakeholders to begin addressing this menace.

At a meeting on May 22, 2018 at Twala Cultural Manyatta, representatives from 10 group ranches in Naibunga, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Groots Kenya, Borana Conservancy, ICRAF, Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia Perma-Culture, Regional Centre for Mapping and Remote Sensing, Laikipia County Government, Northern Rangerlands Trust and Ol Jogi Conservancy met to discuss effective ways of controlling the spread of the invasive species.

The County Government brought these key stakeholders together following their previous involvement in control and eradication of Opuntia. These stakeholders were urged to develop a roadmap for tackling the menace.

Suggestions were tabled on how the species can be controlled:

  • Form an umbrella body that will focus on controlling invasive species
  • Map the species in the landscape
  • Sensitize schools in the affected areas
  • Have a biogas equipment within the group ranches that could use the plant as fuel.
  • Ask households to collect the plant and sell them for biogas production.

Following previous experiences by different stakeholders, the forum agreed that the nine stakeholders organizations present and chairperson of group ranches in Naibunga will form the steering committee to oversee the next steps and future engagement of the forum, including fundraising. The steering committee will consist of a “mechanical sub-committee” that will oversee the manual removal of Opuntia and “biological sub-committee” that will oversee biological control of the species.

The Steering Committee meeting is expected to hold its first meeting in June.

The meeting was supported financially by the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Groots Kenya, Mpala Research Centre and the Northern Rangerlands Trust.

 

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MKEWP Joins Partners, Reports 2017 Outputs during Watershed Workshop

Watershed Kenya

Watershed Partners go through the 2017 outputs. L-R: Lilian Nyaega-Wetlands International, Tabitha Gerrets-AKVO, Wesley Kipng’enoh- LWF/MKEWP, Stanely Kirimi- MKEWP Coordinator, Jacob Baraza- Cespad and Titus Wamae-Wetlands International

Laikipia Wildlife Forum and the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) participated in the Watershed Outcomes Interpretation Workshop held in Machakos on the 7th and 8th May.

The purpose of the two-day workshop was to analyse the 2017 results of the Watershed Partners and their impact in creating social change.

The workshop brought together the Global Watershed team and partners – MKEWP, the Centre for Social Planning and Administrative Development (CESPAD), Neighbours Initiative Alliance (NIA), Kenya Water & Sanitation Civil Society Network (KEWASNET), Wetlands International, and Kenya Water for Health Organisation (KWAHO) – This team is working on a national Watershed strategy and implementation plan in Kenya.

The partners discussed their annual results and gave their interpretation of how these were contributing to the overall outcomes expected on this Program.

Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) went through its four major Watershed results in 2017. These outputs were driven by the Partnership’s charter which describes three thematic areas: Water allocation and use management; water resource infrastructure development; and institutional strengthening.

The key actions and outputs of the MKEWP included:

  • Development of Water Sector Plans: By providing financial support, MKEWP facilitated meetings to bring together key players (WRUAs, WRA, County Ministry of Water) in the Nyeri, Laikipia and Meru Counties to discuss ten and five-year Water Plans for their future. The Water Sector Plans were incorporated in their County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs).
  • MKEWP produced a simplified guide to the Water Act 2016 and disseminated the guide to water actors in the Upper Ewaso Basin. The Simplified Guide was approved by the former Minister of Water Hon Eugene Wamalwa and Governing Council of 2030 Water Resources Group.
  • The Partnership sourced financial resources from Wetlands International to develop a Water Allocation Plan for the Teleswani River. Through meetings facilitated by MKEWP, the Water Resource Authority (WRA) and citizens discussed and agreed on equitable allocation of water for their River.
  • Water Rationing Plan: MKEWP financed meetings for 20 Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) to discuss their new roles in Water Rationing Plan and co-financed the manpower needed for scouting and actual rationing. This was done in December 2017 in anticipation of the drought period. Thanks to this the WRUAs now manage their water resources independently during the dry season (without WRAs notices).

These results reported at the Watershed workshop are in line with MKEWP’s goal of ensuring that water resources are managed for sustainable, equitable, social and economic development in the Ewaso Basin.

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Demarcation for the Solar-powered Fence in Mukogodo – a Step Closer to Mitigation of Human-Elephant Conflict

Disney Project Demarcation

Community members demarcating solar-powered fence in Arjiju village in an effort to mitigate Human-Elephant Conflicts.

Community members in Arjiju Village, in Mukogodo forest, met to discuss the fencing of a 2.75 Km2 area. They were joined by Laikipia Wildlife (LWF), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Borana Conservancy who are partners in the implementation of the ILMAMUSI Disney Conservation funded project.

The ILMAMUSI Disney Conservation Fund Project, implemented through Laikipia Wildlife Forum, seeks to reduce the occurrence of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in the Mukogodo landscape.

During the meeting, KWS Officer however acknowledged cooperation from the Mukogodo community citing peaceful co-existence with wildlife despite challenges as result of competition for scarce resources.

Once the fence is up, the community will be able to farm and harvest their crops as the solar powered fence will deter the elephants from entering their crops.

The Arjiju community pledged their commitment to the completion and maintenance of the solar-powered fence and elected a 7 member fence committee which will oversee the implementation of the fence project led by a Fence Committee Chairman Mr.Nicholas Ole Kodei. Fence designs are aided by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Strengthening the grazing committees in Il Ngwesi, Lekurruki and Makurian group ranches

In April, Several community meetings were also held in Il Ngwesi and Makurian group ranches with grazing committee elections conducted at Il Ngwesi group ranch as part of the implementation of Disney Conservation Fund Project.

The grazing committees oversee the implementation of grazing plans within the group ranches to prevent overgrazing and conflicts over grazing areas.

Implementation of these targeted project activities is ongoing in the group ranches with the community members and leaders working actively with ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association (CFA) to ensure the success of the grazing plans. Grazing land management and restoration are seen as key to a healthy landscape. Healthy landscapes support better wildlife management, and can reduce the amount of conflict between people, livestock and wildlife over resources.

Northern Rangers Trust (NRT) rangeland coordinator has also been working closely with the ILMAMUSI CFA project manager to create awareness on the mitigation of Human-Elephant Conflicts and grazing land management.

All aspects of this Project are dependent on the future security of the area. Recent insecurity, cattle thefts, and intimidation continue to plague the area, making it challenging to secure livelihoods and the Mukogodo Water Tower.

The Disney Conservation Project is delivered to LWF and Il Mamusi through the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya.