Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Low Fresh Water Levels Worrying

The low levels of fresh water in the country is worrying, Director of Water Resources John Nyaoro has said. According to Nyaoro, fresh water covers 2 per cent of total land surface in the country. He attributed this to the destruction of water towers and called for an increase of forest cover as one way of increasing fresh water.
One way of conserving the environment according to him was through Payment for Environmental Service (PES) programme. He said the government was working with other partners to establish the PES programme in other parts of the country. "It has been demonstrated that farmers can protect the catchment areas on their own with little assistance and I urge all stakeholders to make this project a sustainable one," he said.
Under the PES programme that is supported by WWF, the farmers plant fodder crop and trees along contour lines, leave the riparian uncultivated and plant high value crops.
Nyaoro was speaking during the handing over of Sh800,000 PES payment to farmers who have practiced sustainable farming at Wanjohi in Nyandarua.
The funds were given by the Lake Naivasha Growers Group who are mainly flower farms and the major water at Lake Naivasha. The chairman of LNGG Richard Fox was full of praise for the PES programme. He urged flower buyers to chip in.
Batula Wale from WWF said the Dutch government was ready to fund the PES programme. "The conservation of Lake Naivasha will depend on the co-operative efforts of conservationists, farmers and local communities," he said. Wale said introduction of the PES programme was a major step in reinforcing the restoration of degraded areas of the lake ecosystem. The farmers expressed satisfaction with the programme. They attributed it to increased production in their farms.
Source: AllAfrica.com

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