The Ogiek The Ogiek community, one of Kenya’s minority groups and an indigenous forest dwellers are set to benefit from a comprehensive livelihood handbook currently being developed that broadly allows the community to sustainably utilize forest products and other natural resources.
Jointly developed by the GoK and the European Union in collaboration with other partners including UNEP, Ogiek Council of Elders and the Kenya Forest Service, the publication titled The Ogiek Handbook identifies 17 key areas of potential investments aimed at addressing the livelihoods of the indigenous group while supporting conservation of the country’s waters.
The Handbook borrows its framework and identity from the co-management proviso and principles of the various statutes governing the management of natural resources in Kenya. These includes the current forest regime, water regime, land regime among others.
Opportunities Coordinated by the Kenya Water Towers Agency, the Handbook further provides a guideline for future investments across the identified eco-regions aimed at reducing the stress on forest and forest products. A Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey previously conducted by the agency in partnership with USAID Kenya identified unsustainable sources of income and over dependence on forest and forest products by the forest communities as a key challenge towards the GoK’s conservation interventions across all the major water towers.
The 17 investment opportunities identified includes eco-tourism, bio-enterprise, bee keeping, silk farming, rabbit keeping, bamboo, dairy goats, poultry keeping, mini-hydro projects among others. Ogiek Register The Handbook comes on the heels of yet another milestone for the community following the recent successful completion of the Ogiek Register. The register captures all adult members of the community spread across the various forest blocs in the Mau Forests Complex, whose number were realized to total 11,320. The register is currently in at the Government Printer undergoing publication. Once complete, both the Handbook and the Register will be jointly launched to pave way for clear GoK and other partners engagements with the Ogiek community in its water towers restoration efforts and community development .
The GoK remains committed to the full recovery and restoration of the Mau and other water catchment area.
Towards this, the Agency is currently coordinating the acquisition of the title deeds and is in the final stages to facilitate the securing of the following forest blocks:
- South West Mau stretching through Kericho and Nakuru Counties
- Trans Mara in Narok County
- Londiani Forest Reserve in Kericho County
- North Tinderet in Nandi County
- South Tinderet covering sections of Nandi and Kericho Counties
- Timboroa in Nandi County; and
- Ainapkoi In Uasin Ngishu County
Promising Future It is the opinion of the Kenya Water Towers Agency that increased awareness amongst the communities around the water towers presents the best opportunity for further engagements and partnership in the GoK’s water towers restoration initiatives.