Community Based Nature Restoration And Protection Of The Degraded Kiu/Kiboko Catchment In Makueni County
Encroachment and degradation of Kiu/Kiboko water catchment has resulted in the reduction of the levels and recharge rates of the springs causing water shortage for domestic, agricultural and livestock keeping in the adjacent community, especially those in Makindu Town who mainly rely on the catchment. The community registered their complaints with the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, who advised on restoration and trained community groups on the importance of catchment restoration and protection. The community prioritised this project through public participation and budget allocation.
Interventions included planting of tree species suited for wetlands such as bamboo and grass along the water catchment area; restriction of herding along the catchment area to curb trampling of planted tree seedlings by livestock; building cattle troughs at selected sites to provide water for livestock to avoid degradation of the catchment through herding and watering the livestock; employing forest scouts from the community to guard the catchment against illegal tree harvesting; and building of water weirs (barriers) in Kiboko river to increase the height level of the river.
In a bid to enhance ownership and sustainability, the County through the Directorate facilitated tree nursery establishment to provide trees for planting along the catchment and for selling to earn the groups income. The County also involved the Water Resources Users’ Association (WRUA), a self-help group that regulates the use of water resources and also runs similar restoration programmes and conservation of water resources.