Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) has spent USD 30,000 in the restoration of Osipata gulley in Teso South Constituency Busia County.
The restoration exercise was under the Adapting to Climate Change in Lake Victoria Basin (ACC-LVB) Project which was funded by Adaptation fund through UN environment.
Executive secretary Dr Masinde Bwire said the commission’s move to restore the gulley comes in the backdrop of huge public outcry of the affected residents.
The Osipata gulley has been a menace in the area with cases of death and injures reported. Increased sand harvesting and soil erosion has been established as the main cause of the gulley.
The commission in collaboration with other stakeholders within Busia County has held sensitization exercise in the areas to discourage sand harvesting and encourage ecosystem restoration using bamboo.
The Lake Victoria basin commission has also initiated the ecosystem restoration of the degraded landscape through planting of bamboo in the gulley.
Over ten thousand bamboos have been planted within schools, villages and the gulley to reduce cases of soil erosion in the area and to encourage natural healing of the gulley.
Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest growing plants. This makes it an excellent tool for landscape restoration. It has extensive root systems that can measure up to 100km per hectare and can live for centuries and it is resistant to floods and droughts.
Dr Bwire said there was need for the locals to plant bamboo trees to offer long term solution to the perennial soil erosion.
“As a commission we are keen in conserving the gulley by planting bamboo which has multiple benefits. We are also sensitizing the community members on the importance of the conservation” Dr Bwire said.
The commission has partnered with several stakeholders including Busia County government and Eco green Kenya to restore the gulley.
Jackline Amadi, head of programme Eco green Kenya said, “We are glad to be part of this restoration exercise because hundreds of people in this Osipata community have suffered a lot and that is why we have moved up with speed to plant bamboos. So far, we have planted 10,000 bamboos and we are still planning to do more”.
Irene Majale Environment officer Directorate of Environment in Busia County said, “we are committed as a county restore this degraded site and to enlighten the community on the importance of planting bamboo.
Head teacher of St Peter’s Osipata Primary and junior secondary Rosalia Johya said, “As a school we appreciate this initiative. It will help reinforce our fence and when our students are rehearsing for exams, we shall also have shade”.