More than fifty stakeholders of Mt Elgon Water Tower gathered at a Hotel in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County on Thursday 2 May 2019 to deliberate on the status of the Water Tower. This important water catchment area serves Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and other neighbouring counties. Mt Elgon covers an area of 72,874 Ha partly gazetted as National Park and Forest Reserve and has an annual rainfall of 1,270 mm. Rivers and streams emanating from the Water Tower flow to Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana and Lake Kyoga in Uganda.
During the meeting organized by Kenya Water Towers Agency to disseminate a report on the status of the Water Tower, the stakeholders resolved that the Water Tower be conserved through multi-agency approach. Major stakeholders present at the meeting were drawn from Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Water Resources Authority, Ogiek Community, National Environment Management Authority, County Governments of Bungoma and Trans Nzoia as well as Deputy County Commissioners for Entebess and Mt Elgon Sub-Counties. Also present were Community Forest Associations, Water Resources User Associations among others.
The multi-agency committee will oversee the recovery, rehabilitation, conservation and restoration of Mt Elgon Water Towers to its original state so that the communities upstream and downstream benefit from its ecosystem. Deputy County Commissioner for Entebess Mr Peter Maina reported that already communities are fighting for scarce water resources in his sub-county. To speedily resolve land-related issues and enforce conservation laws, stakeholders concluded that the Land Commission and the security team be included in the multi-agency committee. Among the challenges that the committee will address are illegal logging, encroachments, unclear boundaries and human wildlife conflicts.