Sustainable reforestation and improved water resource management

Funded by Coop Switzerland, the project works with commercial flower growers and smallholder farmers within the Lake Naivasha Basin to promote reforestation and conservation activities. This project brings significant social and environmental benefits, including improved water quality, increased biodiversity, job creation and capacity training for local communities.

The context

Historically consisting of indigenous forest and open woodland, over the past 50 years much of the area has been converted into rainfed smallholdings. This change has impacted the water level of the lake and the deforestation has exacerbated flooding in the wet season and drought in the dry season. On the same side of the coin, poor farming methods, such as overgrazing and fertilizers, have impacted water quality.

The project

Covering the entire Lake Naivasha area, the project focuses on reforestation and conservation of native plants and trees and improved water resource management. The reforestation target area is 1,000 hectares of farmland. Specially trained local community groups decide on the specific tree clusters, vet individuals and monitor the progress of the project. Climate change awareness workshops and capacity building workshops are provided to local farmers.

The benefits

Lake Naivasha is the beating heart of the region, supplying drinking water to Nakuru, the fourth largest city in Kenya and providing irrigation water to the surrounding horticulture and power generation industries. Restoring the habitat boosts biodiversity, lessens soil erosion and crucially improves the water quality, which also helps to cool the local microclimate. By supporting agroforestry systems, the project helps to diversify participants incomes, they will also have firewood available on their farms, saving them time and resources travelling far to collect fuel and reducing pressure on the remaining forests.

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