Component 4 Water Towers project is being implemented by Scientists from KEFRI, Collaborators from other partner institutions, and Scientists from the Lake Victoria Basin Eco Region Programme (LVBERP-Maseno) and the Rift Valley Eco-Region Programme (RVERP - Londiani). The LVERP implements Project activities in the Mt. Elgon Ecosystem while the RVERP implements Project activities in the Cherengany Hills Ecosystem.
The Programme is implemented by a number of partners taking advantage of their diversity, specialization, core mandates and bringing together their synergy to focus on recreating the landscapes of the Water Towers. The partners include:-
1. Ministry of Environment Natural Resources (MENR)
2. Kenya Forest Service (KFS)
3. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
4. Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA)
5. Climate Change Directorate (CCD)
6. County Governments in the eleven counties of the project area:
(West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Kakamega, Vihiga, Nandi, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu,Siaya, Busia), and
7. Kenya Forestry Research Institute
Mt. Elgon is one of Kenya’s five major water towers. It is located North of Bungoma, West of Kitale, on the border of Kenya and Uganda and lies on GIS position: 01o 07′06″N & 34o 31′30″E with Elevation of 2,458 – 4,321 metres above sea level (m.a.s.l). Mt. Elgon covers 102,695.6 ha, which comprise a forest reserve covering 87,209.7 ha and a national park covering 15,485.9 ha.
The forest forms the upper catchment of three major rivers:
• Nzoia – drains into Lake Victoria
• Turkwel – drains into Lake Turkana
• Malakisi – flows from Kenya into Uganda.
Mt. Elgon Forest comprises 8 blocks namely:
• Cheptais • Kaberua • Kaboywo • Saboti • Sosio • Kiptogot • Kimothon • Suam
Cherangany Hills comprise of 12 forest blocks cutting across three counties, Trans-Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot, on the Western ridge of the Great Rift Valley.
It covers an area of 120,000 ha, forming the upper catchment of Nzoia, Kerio and Turkwel rivers (KFWG & DRSRS 2004).
The watershed not only underpins livelihoods of communities within Lakes Victoria and Turkana Basins, but stretches its significance to national and global capacity. However, this ecosystem has never been an exemption to anthropogenic disturbances of land use pressure, demographic characteristics and even climate change (Cherangany Hills Forest Ecosystem Strategic Management plan 2015).
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