As efforts to restore the Lake Naivasha catchment area continue, the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources has made a huge contribution by supporting the planting of over 1.2 million trees during the last year through a new initiative called ‘Adopt a Catchment’.
Each month Adopt a Catchment engages over 300 youth in the catchments of Gitare, Karunga location in Gilgil district and Kwa Muciira in Maai Mahiu location of Naivasha district.
The government pays the youth through bank accounts to ensure accountability and security of the funds which total to over KES 2.2 million each month.
The ministry is doing this through Kazi Kwa Vijana (KKV), a nationwide programme launched by the president and Prime Minister of Kenya in March 2009, which is expected to employ between 200,000 – 300,000 Kenyan youth who are at risk of hunger and starvation. The programme provides the youth with an alternative source of livelihood to support themselves and their families.
Those employed under KKV will be engaged in manual-based small projects in their own communities. In rural areas, they will build water dams and irrigation, repair borehole and access roads, clear bushes, sow organic fertilizers and seeds, and plant trees.
In urban areas, KKV workers will build and operate water kiosks, develop and implement waste management systems, repair and maintain access roads. This will be concentrated especially in slum areas.
The mainly community-based projects will be introduced in 3 phases which, according to the KKV website (www.kkv.go.ke), were expected to kick off in August 2009.
Phase I will initially involve water, irrigation, and forestry projects, to be executed by the Ministries of Water and Irrigation, and Forestry. These projects are expected to establish about 60,000 jobs over the course of 6 months at a total cost of KES 1.2 billion (www.kkv.go.ke). This phase was expected to generate employment for an estimated 31,000 Jobs in Forestry alone.
Phase II was to include projects of the Ministries of Roads, Local Governments and Regional Development as well as those of other interested parties. These projects will be rolled out on April 1.
Phase III will comprise projects of other interested ministries as well as those initiated by other interested parties. The emphasis in this phase will be to employ female youth as caregivers for HIV/AIDS victims and orphans.
In each phase, local communities, development partners and NGOs will be invited to propose community-based projects to complement those initiated by the government.