CAS Ministry of Environment and Forestry watering a tree planted during the launch of the Project at Nyakongo Polytechnic, Rarienda in Siaya County
The Regional Adapting to Climate Change in Lake Victoria Basin (ACC-LVB) project coordinated by Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) supports Kenya’s target—10% forest cover by 2030. Implemented in the five EAC Partner States, in Kenya, ACC-LVB was launched in Siaya County, by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Hon Mohamed Elmi, June, 2nd 2021.
In line with Presidential directive of increasing forest cover, at least 29,000 tree seedlings were donated and will be grown in various public and religious institutions in Rarieda and Bondo Sub County. Siaya county is reported to only have 0.4% forest cover, and this was part of the reasons for making the county one of the project beneficiaries in Kenya. However, Busia is one of the benefiting counties in Kenya. Other countries implementing ACC-LVB in East Africa include; Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.
“Siaya county was picked as the project site because of its low forest cover of 0.4% which is the main contributor to climate change in the region as there is increased surface run off, and uncontrolled soil erosion leaving the soil unproductive hence affecting the livelihood of the communities in the basin,” CAS Environment and Forestry.
The CAS officially launched the UNEP-funded project (ACC-LVB) in the presence LVBC Executive Secretary, Dr Ally-Said Matano, partners from Kisumu, Siaya County Representatives, delegates from the National Government, Kenya Forest Research Institution, Kenya water towers association, among others.
All the speakers during the event called on the local communities, institutional heads to ensure that the planted trees are well nurtured to maturity. The community were encouraged to practice agroforestry in the farms to help the government achieve its targets as they also benefit from the trees.
Tree planting in Siaya was in tandem with ACC-LVB Project outcome (3) and outcome (4): emphasizing transfer of climate change technologies to communities to reduce vulnerability and regional resilience to climate change through innovative, community-based projects respectively.
Similarly, the Siaya project is aligned with project components: 3 and 4 respectively. The latter emphasizes community based approaches to climate change adaptations while the former articulates regional approach to climate change adaptation in vulnerable communities of the East African Community Partner States.
The Siaya project is expected to support 3 community-based organizations in Siaya county to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and improve their livelihood through various adaptation intervention ranging from Ecosystem Restoration through bamboo and tree planting, Climate Smart Agriculture like solar powered hatcheries, promotion of soya beans farming, modern beehives, fish cage farming, portable solar powered water pump irrigation and green house farming of capsicum.