County government assures residents on water tower restoration

The Trans Nzoia county Environment, Natural Resources and water executive committee member Maurice Lokwaliwa at a past event. Photo/ Courtesy

The County government of Trans Nzoia has advised residents not to worry following reports that a Sh 3.6 billion European Union water conservation project targeting Kenya’s water towers has been suspended.

The executive officer in charge of Water, environment and Natural Resources Maurice Lokwaliwa said only one component out of the six components of the project was suspended on grounds of violation of human rights.

“The union only suspended component two which was being implemented by Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forestry Service, climate change secretariat and the Kenya Water Towers agency,” Mr. Lokwaliwa spoke at his office.

The union suspended the component in January following reports of eviction of the Seng’wer community from the Embobut forest after one of its members was allegedly gunned down by Kenya Forest Service rangers.

The climate change and mitigation project targets 11 counties with the focus in Trans Nzoia county being on the rehabilitation of the degraded Mt. Elgon and Cherang’any water towers.

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The executive officer called on the European Union to consider restoring the suspended component. County governments are implement component three on landscape engagements.

More than 10, 000 acres of forest land on the two waters have been destroyed as a result of encroachment with the huge land portions being turned in to homesteads and agricultural land.

Green Belt movement’s senior programmes officer Mrs. Teresa Maina said failure to rehabilitate the water towers would have adverse environmental effects on more than 1 million people.

“Failure to urgently rehabilitate the water towers will spell disaster for more than one million people whose livelihoods are dependent on them,” Mrs. Maina told Aspect News.