Rehabilitating Water Sources through Ward Climate Change Planning Committees

For many years communities within the Western region have valued the Eucalyptus tree because of its economic benefits which include selling it for timber, fuel and construction. The tree is preferred because of its fast maturity rate. Unfortunately, its side effects have been greatly overlooked and the negative impact is evident due to reduced agricultural productivity and the drying up of water resources because of its high water volume intake.

ADS Western in partnership with Christian Aid, ADA Consortium and the County Government of Vihiga has been at the forefront of championing for climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience through sensitization and training of communities with the 25 wards of Vihiga County.

Ward Climate Change Planning Committees were established and trained on understanding the environment, the importance of environmental conservation, and the consequences of environmental degradation. After the training, the committee members of Mwibona Ward were able to do an assessment of the effects of Eucalyptus within their ward and confirmed its negative impact on water resources is real. A spring with Eucalyptus planted on its banks had reduced its water volume over time while a spring planted with bamboo around its banks had sustained its water volume and improved the water quality since it looked clean.

Because of such findings, the committee members are emphasizing the importance of conserving water sources by planting more bamboo trees along the banks and allocating a specific plot to plant the Eucalyptus away from water sources.

Apart from water conservation, the community uses bamboo trees to make briquette, which is a clean source of fuel that emits low carbon, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. The community intends to engage in the commercial production of bamboo which can be used to make furniture thus creating job opportunities and earn income from the sale of bamboo products.

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