Indigenous-led community efforts redefine forest management in Kenya

New dam confronts challenge of water resource depletion
Two farmers crouch on the shoreline of a dam
Local farmers Kibarisho and Noormejooli at a dam in Majimoto, Narok County, Kenya. Photo credit: UN REDD Programme

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An organization in Kenya is making a big impact through its support for forest-related projects initiated by local communities, according to the UN-REDD Programme.

Indigenous Livelihood Enhancement Partners (ILEPA) recently worked with the Maji Moto community near Narok County, helping frame a proposal for a new dam project,  reports Griet Dierckxsens, Africa regional communications and knowledge management specialist with UN-REDD.

The group assisted the community to identify their specific needs, training them in proposal writing and helping them find sponsorship for the dam, which is intended to help mitigate the impact of water resource depletion amid growing population and agricultural pressures.

ILEPA, formerly known as the Touch of Love Integrated Development Programme, is also working on the development of stakeholder engagement and free prior and informed consent guidelines and toolkits, also trained the community in monitoring and managing funds.

“It is important to know who to talk to in the community because in the Maasai community, for example, you have a cultural leadership as well as an administrative leadership,” said James Twala, ILEPA program officer on climate change.

“The constitution spells out that in projects affecting their livelihoods, citizens should be involved.”

Learn more about this initiative on the UN-REDD website.

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