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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

CDTF on a verification mission at Wangwaci dam

By Bob Aston
Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) on January 27, 2013 visited Wangwaci dam on a verification mission of projects proposed by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), communities and partners on the dam’s conservation.
CDTF is a joint initiative of the Government of Kenya and the European Union with the objective to contribute to poverty alleviation in the country by offering support, in form of grants, to community-based projects which address social, economic and environment priorities.
Thomas and Mary from CDTF at Ng'arua Maarifa Centre
ALIN had applied for lot 2 grant from CDTF. The grant is meant for Public Sector (CBO) in Partnerships with Private Sector focusing on climate change adaptation that enhances a business model for sustainability or will lead to a green growth economy.
Speaking with the community members of Wangwaci, Thomas Opande, a short term consultant with CDTF said that the verification mission was meant to give them more insight about the project and also to listen to the communities living around the dam.
“Main purpose of CDTF is to help the community empower themselves. The community has to come up with activities that they want to undertake,” said Thomas.
The project is expected to directly benefit 33,000 people. CDTF will cater for 80% of the project cost, while the local community and a private sector partner, WindGen Power East Africa, will each contribute 10% of the project cost if it is approved.
“In case the project sails through then CDTF will try to reduce poverty, to conserve the environment and to make the project sustainable,” said Mary Karanja, a short term consultant with CDTF.
Ibrahim highlighting the challenges faced at Wangwaci dam
Ibrahim mutahi took the visitors through some of the challenges faced by the dam users. Mutahi mentioned lack of access to clean water for human consumption, irrigation for food production and livestock during drought periods, poor watershed management leading to land degradation, water pollution, and exposure of communities to water borne diseases due to poor water resource management, sanitation and lack of a supply system.
“Water is the main source of income here. We want the number of dam beneficiaries to increase from 5,000 to 10,000 members,” said Ibrahim.
Noah Lusaka, Project Manager ALIN informed the dam users about the objectives of the grant application. ALIN seeks to ensure that communities will access clean water for their domestic use, livestock and for irrigation to produce enough food for their families and sale of surplus to generate income thus improving their livelihoods.
ALIN also seeks to ensure that Wangwaci watershed will be restored and productively used, fuel wood will be readily available reducing workload by women and children and reduction of community conflicts over use of natural resources.
The project also seeks to see a reduction of water borne diseases among communities due to improved water quality and supply systems enhancing work productivity in rural areas especially youth employment creation in conservation and agricultural work.
“We have been working as partners with the local community. On behalf of ALIN we hope to get to the next level,” said Sam Mwangi, Team Leader Community Empowerment-ALIN.
Noah from ALIN highlighting the project objectives
“What the farmers need to do is create wealth,” added Sam.
ALIN seeks to partner with WindGen Power East Africa, Ministry of Agriculture, Provincial administration and Tree is Life to ensure that Wangwaci dam is conserved.
“Let us organize ourselves as we have resources. It is good that we have an opportunity to engage with our partners CDTF,” said Anthony Mugo, ALIN’s Deputy Director.
If the project sails through then community water users association will be formed to facilitate protection and conservation of Wangwaci water catchment area thus increasing clean water accessibility by communities.
An efficient water supply system will be installed using solar-wind energy hybrid technologies for easy access to water by communities for their utilization.
Wangwaci dam communities will be empowered to develop a comprehensive management plan through capacity building on natural resources management and food production technologies as climate change adaptation strategies.
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