Water Tower Protection & Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Programme, Conducts Sensitization Workshops

By Michael Muratha


Kenya is set to eradicate poverty through enhancing resilience to climate change after it received support from the European Union through an initiative dubbed Water Tower Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (WaTER) Programme. The five year initiative will be implemented in two of the five major water towers namely Mt Elgon and Cherengany. The programme has officially been launched and will be implemented by a number of agencies including; the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Water Towers Agency, Climate Change Directorate and the County Governments. 


The implementation process is set to be carried out under four result areas with each agency playing a separate role that will ultimately feed into the whole programme. These Result areas include; system and capacity, focusing on building capacity of Kenya Water Towers Agency and the Directorate of Environment; Enhanced Management Framework, aimed at improving the quality and quantity of ecosystem services; Landscape Management, under the County government in partnership with community- based organizations and lastly science to inform design of community actions and policy decision being implemented by KEFRI. 


It is in line with result area two, enhanced management framework that Kenya Forest Service in collaboration with the other agencies conducted sensitization workshops in Naivasha, Kisumu and Eldoret. The workshops were mainly aimed at sensitizing field officers on how the project will be rolled out to improve the quality and quantity of the ecosystem services. The sensitization exercise also entailed field visits to various forests to expose the programme officials and staff to various proposed sites where the programme will venture into.   


Speaking during one of the sensitization workshops in Eldoret Project Manager David Chege reiterated that the programme will carry out rehabilitation and restoration of degraded hotspots including reintroduction of appropriate cultivars and germplasm. He further added that the programme will work very closely with communities to help improve their livelihoods which will in return help to conserve the forests. 


A number of counties are set to benefit from this programme including; Bungoma, Busia, Elegeyo Marakwet, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nandi, Siaya, Tranzoia, Uasin Gishu, Vihiga and West Pokot. In the long run the programme is excepted to improve livelihoods of 5,000 households through efficient ecosystem management and enhanced stakeholder participation. 


A group photo of programme officials and various stakeholders during the sensitization workshop held in Kisumu.



KFS Ecosystem Conservator Elgeyo Marakwet Alfred Kurgat briefs Programme Officials during a field visit of Embobut Forest 




Project Manager David Chege makes a presentation during one of the sensitization workshops held in Eldoret 



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