Of the challenges to keep Kenya’s rivers flowing

By Joan Wandegi Nthiga, Laikipia Wildlife Forum
(Posted 15th July 2017)

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling – Keep Those Rivers Flowing
As we brace ourselves for this drought, the MKEWP continues to urge members of the public to remain vigilant in order to protect our limited water resources. A quick situation assessment carried out by the Partnership and WRA officials has revealed that the water situation is dire.
The National Drought Management Authority has made public that we are about to face the worst drought since 2009/2010 stating, “the damages and losses as a result of the drought will be unprecedented”. This is in response to the current drought situation. Various sectors have been encouraged to come up with interventions to mitigate the drought that is expected to take place between June and October 2017. Other stakeholders have been encouraged to source for funds in order to assist local communities.
During the January-April dry spell, MKEWP worked with the WRA and various WRUAs to mitigate the water crisis. This involved WRUAs implementing River Water Rationing Programs, while the WRA helped with compliance. ​

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The Future of Our Wildlife Depends On The Success Of The National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy
Kenya has experienced a 70% decline in wildlife numbers over the last 30 years. Extinction now challenges iconic species like wild dogs, cheetahs, lions, rhinos and giraffes, not to mention scores of other smaller animals, plants and insects. 16 months ago, we were forecasting the extinction of several vulture species in the Country.

Only Laikipia and parts of the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro landscape have seen wildlife numbers remain constant over this same period. But we continue to lose species diversity.

The Endangered Grevy’s Zebra at Mpala Research Centre
Efforts are still underway to collect inputs to the formulation of the National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy for Kenya after a public participation meeting held in Nanyuki on Thursday the 22nd of June.
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Elephants in Laikipia County

Turnout was mixed, with no county government representatives from any of the northern counties. On Friday, June 30th, the Formulation Team was in Kisumu, and then proceeded to Nakuru on Monday, July 3 where further inputs were collected.

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Smart Water for Agriculture Is Good For Business!
There is no doubt that the Irrigation Acceleration Platform (IAP) in Laikipia County is making great strides in water management for the small-holder agriculture sector. The Platform was established in May of this year by the Smart Water for Agriculture Program of SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation). This Project aims to increase income and food security for households around the county.

The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) is supported by an LWF secretariat.

Ephraim Kagi Kahenya, an active member of the Naro Moru Water Resource Users Association (NWRUA) addresses members on the importance of Smart Water Agriculture
We joined SNV to organise a communications workshop tailored for IAP County host leaders and farmer group representatives from five counties.

We implemented a 3-day workshop that focused on how best IAP leaders in the counties, and farmer group representatives, can communicate with farmers, financiers and suppliers. Powerful stories from farmers emerged from the workshop. Here’s one of them:
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Here’s Why You Should Get Involved In The Ewaso Ng’iro Camel Caravan
The 2017 Ewaso Ng’iro Camel Caravan is scheduled to take place from the 21st to the 25thof July. A number of registered volunteers and partners shall join the 5 days walk that aims to sensitise river users on the need to conserve the Ewaso Ng’iro River. The Caravan will kick off from Ilmotiok Community, Laikipia County, and will journey downstream to end at Archers Post, Samburu County. Participants in the Camel Caravan will spend time with every host community along the way, in a series of interactive sessions that will include screening of documentaries that focus on the need to conserve the Ewaso Ngi’ro Basin Ecosystem.
The 2016 Camel Caravan
MKEWP, whose secretariat is Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF), will be supporting this initiative, and will be bringing together downstream and upper stream users to engage in meaningful dialogue around issues surrounding cooperative management and conservation of the Basin.
Rivers can both unify and divide us. The increase in human populations, as well as agricultural activities, infrastructure development and the effects of climate change has put tremendous strain on our water resources.
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