By yoana kimwele
The Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) Ministry of Environment and Natural resources and other partners held a stakeholders Consultative forum on Friday at Ikisaya in kitui east constituency with a view of ensuring sustainable management and conservation of Endau Hills water tower.
The aim of the forum was to disseminate the 10 year Endau Hills Ecosystem Management Plan which has been developed by kenya water tower agency in collaboration with all stakeholders and Endau people
The forum was led by kitui executive member Hon John Makau who is in charge of environment and natural resources county Ministry together with Dr Winfred Musila The director in charge of ecosystem assessment planning & Audit at Kenya waters tower agency.
Also in attendance was Dr Temi Mutia, The value chain Specialist from the office of the Governor. The team was received by the National Government administrators ,The county admins, area chiefs among local leaders.
Dr Musila revealed that Endau Hill Water Tower located in Mutitu sub county, Endau Malalani covers an area of 31,859 ha consisting of gazetted forest (6,879ha) and a 5 km buffer zone (24,980 ha). The total population in Endau Hills water tower is 15,506. Endau hills has 23 springs and 13 seasonal rivers of according to kenya water towers agency research.
Dr. Winfred Musila indicated the Plan will provide the perfect impetus for a 10-year conservation, protection and rehabilitation process for the Endau Hills water tower. Further, the plan will offer a long-term solution for the development of decision support tools and that will guide on the sustainable management of the Endau Hills Water Tower.
Madam Musila further mentioned that the plan will be implemented through a coordinated effort by all the relevant Stakeholders following five thematic management programs, that address the key degradation drivers identified during problem analysis and stakeholder engagement:
(i) Forest resource management programme
(ii) Water resource management programme
(iii) Community livelihood and education programme
(iv) Sustainable Land Management (SLM) programme and
(v) Ecosystem Protection/security programme
Madam Musila urged the community to collaborate with Kenya forest service, Water Resource Authority, kenya Forestry Research Institute and other partners to conserve all water catchment areas.
According to a study done by the water towers agency, Kitui county has 8 water towers among them Endau hills.
Kitui has the highest numbers of water catchment areas, or rather water towers in kenya..the Agency emphasised on modern technology in Environmental conservation and creation of community forestry associations (CFAs) to manage the water catchment areas.
Dr Temi encouraged the local groups to keep partnering with county government so as to gain knowledge on how to add value to their products.
Endau malalani ward mca hon Grace Sammy urged the residents of malalani to embrace Artificial Insemination program saying it is the best program for our farmers.
The Minister John makau reiterated the Government commitments to conserve the environment across the county. Makau said in kenya there are 88 water towers areas and Kitui county has the highest number of them at 8.
The Minister who was the chief Guest urged the community of Malalani to preserve Endau hills …The minister revealed that the Ministry of environment and natural resources has planted over 600,000 seedlings in the county.
Endau hills water tower once revived will benefit about 15000 people from Endau/Malalani ward.