Jul 31, 2012 by Judith Nzyoka
By Nyongesa M Josephat (edited by Judith Nzyoka)
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Kenya Country office) in partnership with CARE – Kenya has been implementing the phased Equitable Payment for Watershed Services (EPWS) scheme in within Naivasha where the third payment was done on June 21, 2012.
The project in the Lake Naivasha basin has been in operation in Kenya since 2006 with the implementation phase commencing in 2008. Its goal is to improve the livelihoods of Targeted households in the Malewa Catchment area by introducing Payment for Watershed Service. The PES design involves two Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) representing sellers located in the Turasha and Wanjohi sub-catchments of the Malewa River at the western foothills of the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya.
The two WRUAs received KES 1,151,696 for 784 members as incentive from Lake Naivasha Water Resources Users Association (LANAWRUA). Wanjohi WRUA received KES 586,131 for 399 members while Upper Turasha Kinja WRUA received KES 565,565 for 385 members. Each farmer’s incentive voucher was valued at KES 1,300. The 2012 event attracted more stakeholders; Water Resources Authority (WRMA), UNEP, ICRAF, government line ministries (Water, Agriculture and Livestock), Provincial administration, public schools, buyers and sellers (the two business partners) and the WWF as the main project intermediary.
Initially, Naivasha PES initiative started with 565 pilot farmers, the sellers of ecosystem services and buyers primarily Lake Naivasha Growers Group (LNGG members of LANAWRUA: mainly the commercial horticulture business owners) downstream. Though the scheme started at slow pace has now gained momentum and interest beyond initial expectations. Buyers of ecosystem services have incentivized land managers (communities upstream) for the last three years. In May 20, 2010, 470 Ecosystem Service (ES) providers in the two WRUAs were rewarded by receiving USD 10, 000 from LANAWRUA and similarly Wanjohi WRUA received KES 438, 815.16 and Upper Turasha WRUA KES 360,909.57 for 504 farmers (Wanjohi 276 and Upper Turasha Kinja 228) during 2011 reward.
Other than Lake Naivasha Growers Group (LNGG) the main buyer, more potential buyers have joined the scheme including Ranchers and other flower companies.
The benefits include:
- reduced soil erosion,
- increased farm productivity an indicator of improved soil fertility (improved food security),
- increased income for land owners from different on-farm green enterprises on conserved farms,
- increased water clarity-confirming silt load reduction,
- community acquired skills and knowledge on good land management practices to protect land and water ecosystems for future sustainable agricultural activities,
- Over 46 ha of land under different soil and water conservation structures.
Gender equity and involvement of marginalized community in socio-economic development have been realized. Additionally, with good agricultural practices combined with soil and water conservation upstream has improved quality water flow for downstream users important for commercial enterprises for the buyers of ecosystem services. Private sector other than securing enterprises, also will in the long run achieve high competitive edge in the international market for their horticulture products through recognition by international community for their conservation efforts to promote green economy
The project progress is monitored jointly by buyers/sellers representatives in partnership with WWF and WRMA acting as project intermediary. Farms are verified for structures implemented as agreed in the buyer-seller contract before payments are done through voucher system.
Download the full brief here [PDF, 840 KB]
About the Author
Nyongesa M Josephat works as Project Natural Resource Economist with World Wide Fund for Nature-Kenya Country Office (WWF-KCO) Contacts: nyongesajm@yahoo or Jnyongesa@malewa.wwfearpo.org