Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in collaboration with three organizations and four counties held a one-day workshop in Nyahururu to commence a 3-year Kenya Rangelands Ecosystem Services pRoductivity (RangER) Project, May 17, 2021.
The project funded by the European Commission to a tune of 5 million Euros, seeks to adopt an integrated landscape approach in the Amaya Triangle counties. The Counties are; Laikipia, Baringo, Samburu and Isiolo, respectively.
“The project aims to enhance the productivity of ecosystem services provided by rangelands within the counties through investments in evidence-based climate-smart feed resources, an array of climate-smart trees, wildlife and natural resource-based livelihoods, and enhance the capacity of Amaya Triangle counties in governance, peace and security for both wildlife and people,” elucidated the JKUAT Project Coordinator, Dr. Clifford Obiero.
According to Dr. Obiero, the project will lead to improved human and livestock well-being, enhanced connectivity and biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, climate change mitigation, adaptation and enhanced resilience of local communities, among other benefits.
JKUAT is part of a consortium including the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), E4Impact, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and Amaya Triangle counties that is mandated to implement the project.
The project has five key result areas undertaken by the various members of the consortium. These are; effective governance, human and wildlife security; co-production of knowledge to guide and inform project interventions in the Amaya landscape; and deepening and expanding the community conservancy model;
The other two are; re-designing the landscape and promoting feed and food security through tree and natural resource-based livelihood systems; and support to integrated climate-resilient and ecologically sustainable feed and food security and natural resource-based livelihood systems.
JKUAT’s core role will be the co-production of knowledge to guide and inform project interventions in the four counties, guiding the communities to map degraded hotspots and identify restoration options, undertake land-use planning and adopt climate-smart livelihoods.
“To meet our objective, we will carry out baseline surveys, literature review, ground-truthing, fieldwork, focus group discussion, ecological assessments, soil sampling and analysis and have a validation workshop,” said Dr. Obiero.
The indicative outputs of the JKUAT’s result area include; the natural resources of the Amaya triangle mapped and quantified; the future climatic scenarios of the four counties established; and the land suitability for various fodder cultivation established based on soil analysis and ecological survey.
JKUAT will also ensure that the water requirements for fodder production, sowing and planting dates are established for optimum yield; degraded land mapped; rehabilitation criteria established based on ecological suitability, soil analysis; and crop water requirements for various tree species established.
The JKUAT team led by Dr. Obiero is comprised of Prof. David Mburu (who is also the Principal, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources), Dr. James Messo, Dr. Mathew Kigomo, Dr. Geofrey Waweru, Ms. Robai Liambila and Mr. Wycliffe Nyang’au.
The workshop attracted participants from JKUAT, NRF, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), county representatives of the four counties including Deputy Governor, Isiolo County, Dr. Abdi Issa, who is also the Chairperson Amaya Triangle Secretariat, Baringo County, CEC Health, Dr. Richard Rotich, NRT Project Lead, Mr. Aloise Naitira and Assistant Director, NDMA Baringo, Mr. Abudullahi Ahmed.