EU and Kenya government launch programme to rehabilitate Water Towers (23/06/2016)

EU and Kenya Government launch programme to rehabilitate Mt. Elgon and Cherangany Hills Water Towers and its ecosystems

Nairobi, 23 June 2016

The European Union and the Kenya Government today launched an EU funded programme - the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, to support the eradication of poverty through enhancing the productivity of ecosystem services in two of Kenya’s five water towers – Mt Elgon and Cherangany and its ecosystems covering eleven counties. The programme is a six years programme with a duration from 2014-2020 and with a total support of €31,000,000 corresponding to KES 3.6 billion.

The programme is expected to enhance resilience to climate change by covering the Mt. Elgon and the Cherangany Hills, two of Kenya's critical ecosystems. It will be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, with the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Water Towers Agency, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the National Climate Change Secretariat as well as the eleven counties as the implementing agencies.

During the launch of the programme at the Hill School in Eldoret, the European Union Ambassador H.E. Stefano A. Dejak said "The EU supports projects that ensure the highest environmental protection. The Water Towers Programme will help preserve the environment for present as well as future Kenyan generations, while improving the lives of the communities through ecologically and economically sustainable land use systems and livelihood interventions. This provides a win-win solution for both the community and the environment. This programme is a key step to taking effective action in tackling Climate Change through sustainable ecosystem services."

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof Judi Wakhungu said "The programme will improve the quality and quantity of ecosystem services provided by the two water towers, through increased forest cover, improved landscape and natural resource management / waste management systems, that will lead to increased benefits to communities from forest, agriculture and agro-forestry land use systems."

The programme will be implemented in Cherangany Hills and Mount Elgon ecosystems and will include Lake Victoria and Turkana basins. It will also address a number of cross-cutting issues like climate change, gender equality, good governance and human rights and will benefit the eleven Counties of Bungoma, Busia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nandi, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Vihiga and West Pokot.