Natural Resource Management


Poor natural resource management exacerbates flooding rates of the Lower Nzoia Catchments Basin. This results from a combination of poor land-use practices, deforestation and pollution in the watershed catchment areas, and accumulation of silt in the lower sections such as Budalang’i and Bunyala.

Floods occur during the long rainy seasons, and due to natural resource degradation, they are now more frequent than before. Such frequent flooding creates problems in water supply and sanitation (WSS), agriculture, health, education, communication, and transport. Within WKCDD/FM the Natural Resources Management (NRM) sub-component is aimed at combating the causes of land degradation, soil erosion and water pollution in the catchments area so as to enhance the livelihoods of the communities.

This is to be achieved by addressing the following key areas/themes:
•Improved management of terrestrial biodiversity;
•Introduction of sustainable land use practices;
•Management of inland water systems;
•Sustained network for natural resource management; and
•Supporting alternative nature-based livelihood activities so as to eliminate destructive activities such as charcoal burning

The Project is to work in close collaboration with the Natural Resources Management Project being run by the MENR and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, with the broad objective of sustainably managing natural resources for poverty reduction and long-term socio-economic developments. Since there is a strong link between natural resources and poverty in Kenya, the NRM component will contribute to broad-based poverty alleviation through support to community-based sustainable use and management of environment and natural resources.

NRM Objectives
The objective of the sub-component is based on the broad WKCDD/FM Project’s objective, which is to empower local communities of men and women to engage in sustainable and wealth creating livelihood activities and reduce their vulnerability to flooding. Therefore, the objective of the NRM component is to: empower the local communities to manage their natural resources sustainably for wealth creation and protection from escalating flooding.

The NRM objective is broken down into the following specific objectives which are derived from the early outlined key operational areas; they include:

•Reintroduction of important native plant species in the micro catchment areas through reforestation and afforestation programmes;
•Introduction of agricultural systems that protect the catchment area from soil erosion and pollution load into the aquatic environment;
•Application of preventative measures for control of water pollution loads into the inland waters through proper water and sanitation programmes;
•Development of a network of stakeholders from both the non-governmental and governmental organizations with the intent of complementing each other in natural resource management;
•Promotion of sustainable utilization of the natural resources.

Project Areas

The Project covers the 10 core sub-counties (Kakamega, Bungoma, Butere, Vihiga, Busia, Teso, Lugari, Mt. Elgon, Siaya and Bondo)

NRM Strategy
The strategy for implementing improved natural resource management will be based on the overall strategy which is to empower the community to take charge of its development course.

This is to be achieved through integration of the following aspects into the project designs:
•All NRM activities undertaken will be based on a strong participatory process with a thorough understanding of the many social and economic factors at play;
•All NRM activities will involve community organizations (WRUAs, community forest associations, youth groups, women’s groups, etc.) and the most important element will be capacity building and organizational strengthening;
•Project implementation will involve sub-county Development Committees in the core districts (Kakamega, Bungoma, Butere, Vihiga, Busia, Teso, Lugari, Mt Elgon, Siaya and Bondo) and Sub-county Steering Groups (SCSG).
•Project intervention activities will be based on priority sub-catchments and focused on sub-county and micro-catchment levels.
•Suitable technical assistance will be attuned to, and made familiar with, the capabilities of the recipients.
•Initial support will be put in place for acquiring the tools and materials necessary for jump-starting micro investments.Such efforts will involve the provision of funds for vulnerable groups to start tree nurseries and, later on, the Project will buy the seedlings from them for rehabilitation of the micro catchments.
•Support to proactive efforts to demonstrate the link between income-generating options and efficient catchments management
•Creation of incentives for community organizations to protect and manage the rehabilitated micro-catchment areas

NRM activity operational levels

The NRM activities will take place at three levels:
a) River basin level for support and development of the inter-ministerial river basin management steering committees, strategies, baselines and M&E
b) Sub-county level support to SCSGs, implementation of training, information and awareness programmes to enhance local capacity and engender public support for the WKCDDFM supported activities
c) Micro catchment level support to selected micro-catchments based on criteria such as community readiness, significance of the micro-catchment for the downstream sedimentation, environmental sensitivity and concentration of small producers





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