MT KENYA ECOSYSTEM

Works begin on solar-powered Wildlife Control Electric Fence

Fence will reduce human-wildlife conflict, men will no longer keep watch at night for elephants

In Summary

• Kariuki said the Sh280 million fence will minimise wildlife-human conflict and help conserve of Mt Kenya ecosystem.

• The CS also inspected the progress of the Sh800 million Kaigunji Irrigation Project in Tetu, which is 98 per cent complete.

CS Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Sicily Kariuki and Kieni MP Kanini Kega at the Mureru Dispensary Water Supply Improvement Project on Friday, November 19..
CS Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Sicily Kariuki and Kieni MP Kanini Kega at the Mureru Dispensary Water Supply Improvement Project on Friday, November 19..
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

Construction has started on the 60-kilometer Mt Kenya Solar Wildlife Control Electric Fence

The Sh280 million fence is expected to minimise human-wildlife conflict and help conserve the Mt Kenya ecosystem.

The 60km is part of the 220km electric fence that already has been installed.

It is being constructed through apartnership of the Kenyan government and the International Fund for Agriculture Development.

CS for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Sicily Kariuki launched construction on Friday at Ngonde in Kabaru Forest in Kieni constituency, Nyeri.

Kariuki said the community has suffered from human-wildlife conflict and the project will improve the economy.

Residents will be able to grow food crops without wild animals eating and trampling on them.

Gates to the conservancy will be manned by the community. Members will continue to collect fallen wood for fuel and take their animals to graze in the forest.

“Now our husbands and sons will no longer be farm watchmen,"Kariuki said.

Women have been complaining their husbands and sons spend most of the night keeping away hungry elephants that cause havoc on their farms.

Chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau said the fence will increase land values and crop productivity. It will also help the Kenya Forest Service maintain and protect the forest.

CS Kariuki also pledged  four boreholes will be sunk in the area under the Upper Tana Catchment Natural Resources Management project.

Chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau at the launch of construction of a 60km solar-powered electric fence to control wildlife at Mt Kenya.
ELECTRIC FENCE: Chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau at the launch of construction of a 60km solar-powered electric fence to control wildlife at Mt Kenya.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

She said the government has invested Sh500 million in water projects in Kieni. About 2,250 acres will be irrigated and 5,000 people will benefit.

“I have heard the request for other water projects and we are committed to bring the projects to this very dry area and serve the rest of Kenyans," Kariuki said.

She said as her ministry does the investment planning and mapping for the next financial year, it will accommodate all the requests by members of the public.

Some 171 water pans will also be constructed  to support the community, domestic animals and the ecosystem.

The entire project will greatly help preserve water and water towers.

By the end of next year the aim is to plant two billion trees but people must not cut down trees without replacing them.

“With water, we will be able to plant more trees so we can meet the target. Protecting this water tower around the Mt Kenya ecosystem will be very important to us and future generations economically,” Kariuki said.

She also inspected progress on the Sh800 million Kaigunji Irrigation Project in Tetu constituency, which is 98 percent complete. It will serve 2,500 residents.

The CS also commissioned the Mureru Dispensary Water Supply Improvement Project before touring the Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development offices in Nanyuki.

Kariuki said the government will spend Sh1.6 billion countrywide to supply water to public hospitals.

“We have investments of over Sh3 billion ongoing in Nyeri, including the smaller projects of water pans and boreholes and distribution of water from treatment works and several ongoing irrigation projects," she said.

Others are the Sagana Regeneration Project that will be bringing water to about 40,000 residents of Kieni and another 40 residents in Mathira.

The Sagana Regeneration Project is about 40 per cent complete and is expected to be completed by the end of June next year.

(Edited by V. Graham)