Communities' effort in forest conservation
To avert the vice, WWF-Kenya in collaboration with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Community Forest Associations (CFAs) through the Integrated Water Resources Action Plan (IWRAP) programme have been working with different stakeholders to increase headwater protection and security of water flows through improved participatory forest management and income-generating activities for the forest adjacent communities.
Through initiatives such as PELIS, communities adjacent to the forest have entered into a mutual agreement with KFS to help in the management of these natural assets and in turn benefit from its goods and services. The IWRAP programme has also facilitated the CFAs to develop a Participatory Forest Management Plan (PFMP) that allowed the community to enter into agreement with KFS that sought to confer rights and responsibilities to the local community to protect and at the same time access forest resources in a sustainable way creating a win-win scenario. This has enhanced community rights and access to benefits accrued from the forest, same time undertaking collaborative restorative efforts. Gichuki asserts that the initiatives have contributed significantly to improvement of their livelihoods.
Through IWRAP small grants to the CFAs, total area so far replanted and under restoration is 452 ha which translates to 90% of the targeted 500 ha. A further 48 ha area in the Geta forest was also identified for restoration through fencing to allow for natural regeneration ultimately realizing a total area restored under IWRAP to 500 ha. These efforts will go along way in improving biodiversity and catchment protection, which are key to sustainability of Lake Naivasha basin.