African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Kenya: Gains from World Bank funded Lake Victoria Environmental Project.

Posted by African Press International on September 25, 2013

  • By Dickens Wasonga.
Communities living along the shores of Lake Victoria are now gaining hugely, thanks to the support they are receiving through the World Bank funded Lake Victoria Environmental Project.
In Nandi in the rift valley and Nyando in Nyanza, the locals have ventured into massive tree planting as a way of environmental conservation and the results are impressive.
 A part from reclaiming most of the forest cover that was cleared and turned into farmlands, the residents are now reaping huge benefits from the sale of tree seedlings from nurseries so far established through LVEMP’s support.
The multimillion project which began in 2010 is targeting the implementation of two main broad objectives in its collaborative approach to management of shared natural resources within Lake Victoria Basin.
Working with selected   community groups which have been undertaking activities targeting to reduce environmental stress within the basin, LVEMP is also sponsoring activities aimed at changing the livelihoods of the communities.
The regional project is implemented by all the five member states of the east African community.
 It is undertaking its activities through the government led agencies who offer technical support to the benefiting groups in selected catchment areas.
 In Kenya it is targeting the river Nyando basin and along the shores of Lake Victoria.
According to LVEMP’s national project coordinator madam Francisca Owuor, so far a total of Ksh 116 million has been disbursed to 114 community groups in areas covered by the project.
 It is expected that before the project end in 2015, a total of 240 groups will have been supported.
Speaking at the close of a week-long field excursion organized by LVEMP 2  and attended by twenty journalists from various media houses the coordinator disclosed that Ksh 400M will be spent in the community driven development activities.
She told the journalists that LVEMP has also approved proposals from 225 groups and funding for them is underway.
However, 111 groups whose proposals were approved are yet to be launched to begin implementation of various activities because they are still undergoing environmental impact assessment by the national environmental management authority.
The benefiting groups are those that were already doing something to protect the environment and at the same time engaging in livelihood changing   activities.
Most of the groups  are  for example , engaged in  tree planting along the river banks, other s are  controlling  soil erosion by laying soil conservation structures  like gabions and  erection of  terraces among others.
Apart from conserving the environment, they are also fully embracing commercial agriculture. Some communities have established tree nurseries through the financial support offered by LVEMP while others are keeping dairy animals and keeping bees.
 In the North rift, areas around Nandi Hills, in Nyando and Homa Bay counties, communities are now planting millions of trees in their farms and along the river banks.   They are also protecting water springs by planting bamboo and other tree species that protect the water towers.
The project was necessitated by the realization that Lake Victoria which supports an estimated 30M people either directly or indirectly was facing huge environmental challenges and the stress was linked to unfavorable human activities within the basin which needed to be reversed.
Water levels in Lake Victoria were alarmingly low due to silting because of poor farming activities upstream, quality of the lake water s was greatly compromised as a result of pollution, aquatic immensely interfered with and so there was urgent need to reverse this trend.
END.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: