County Chiefs Supports Mau Restoration Efforts Governors from across the Mau Forests Complex have pledged to support the ongoing efforts to restore the ecosystem.
Speaking at a one-day Mau stakeholders forum organized by the Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA), the county bosses through their Executive Members responsible for Environment, Water and Natural Resources said rehabilitation of the Mau was not a choice but a core duty due to its significant contribution to the regional economies.
The leaders said failure to protect the Mau, Kenya’s major water tower, could slowly dent the livelihoods of millions of households across the six counties as the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic factors takes a toll on agriculture, tourism, water security, among others.
Joseph Rop, the Chairperson of the Mau Region bloc of County Executives who is also the County Executive Committee member for Nakuru County responsible for Environment said his governor had initiated talks with his counterparts across the region in a bid to mobilise resources and investments to help better manage the ecosystem. Mr Rop said his county was on the forefront in the Mau rehabilitation efforts, being the first county to meet a million trees planted in their first year in office spread across all the constituencies in the county. He appealed to those living around the Mau to support the national government’s rehabilitation programs since it’s the only way of protecting present and future generations from adverse drought, hunger, poverty among other catastrophes that may bedevil local communities if the Mau is left to die.
Addressing the same forum, KWTA Chief Executive Officer Mr Francis Ole Nkako said his agency, with support from European Union and UNEP was already in the process of developing the Mau Ecosystem Management Plan which, if adopted, will make it easy for both state and non-state actors to pull resources and join in the Mau restoration efforts in a more coordinated manner. Mr Nkako reminded the county chiefs that they had a role in making sure that natural resources within their respective counties are properly managed for posterity since the ecosystem benefits from such resources permitted beyond political and administrative boundaries. At the same time, the CEO challenged stakeholders present to open dialogues on the best framework under which payment for ecosystem services could be piloted in the Mau to open room for some incentives to the communities protecting the water catchments. Present at the meeting were Executive Committee members from the six counties of the Mau Region namely Narok, Kericho, Bomet, UasinGishu, Nakuru and Nandi. Others were civil society organizations and other government agencies charged with various conservation roles. The stakeholders were meeting to deliberate on the framework, outlay and and the components of the Mau Strategic Plan currently under development by a consultant with support from European Union.