Sigor, 30th November 2022 – This morning the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics) and the County Government of West Pokot have jointly launched the project ‘Environmental Restoration of the Wei-Wei River Basin in the Water Tower of Cherangani’. The launch ceremony took place in Tamkal and counted on the presence of H.E. Robert Komolle, Deputy Governor of West Pokot County, and Giovanni Grandi, Head of Aics Office in Kenya.
Worth a funding of 1 million EUR (over 125 million KES), the initiative aims at restoring the most degraded areas of the water catchment extending from Mount Korellach to the WeiWei River by introducing soil and water conservation techniques, including regenerative farming practices. The initiative is realized through ARS Progetti, a consulting firm specialized in agriculture, social and physical infrastructure, with the full support of West Pokot County Government. Planned activities include the support to introduce appropriate measures for soil conservation through the use of soil erosion control structures, the rehabilitation of gullies and the promotion of terracing, agroforestry, and reforestation; support to WeiWei River Basin communities through the promotion of sustainable and income-generating environmental strategies; the provision of improved access to drinking water for Korellach-based communities.
The Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) are more severely affected by drought and by the effects of climate change. The Italian Cooperation in collaboration with the national authorities and the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) is historically engaged in development programs promoting sustainable agriculture and irrigation in the semi-arid area of Sigor: between 1986 and 2019 approximately 700 hectares of irrigated land were realized through three different development initiatives, including both grants and loans. This initiative therefore represents a continuation of Italy’s commitment in the area.
As Mr. Giovanni Grandi said, “this initiative represents a step forward in the cooperation between Italy and Kenya towards sustainability and resilience to climate change. Building on more than 30 years of experience and projects in environmental restoration in West Pokot, we are sure that this contribution will improve the socio-economic situation in the County and protect a very fragile and endangered environment as the Cherangani Water Tower”.
On his side, H. E. Robert Komolle, County Deputy Governor of West Pokot, warmly welcomed the longstanding relation with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, underlying once again that “the West Pokot County Government will continue to support the development efforts in the Cherangani Water Tower, which are crucial for ensuring a safe and better future for the people living close to the Wei Wei catchment”.