Authored by Brad Czerniak

Kajulu and Nyando (both upstream) and Dunga (downstream) wetlands are located in Kisumu County. Upstream land is largely privately owned and mainly used for agriculture, energy needs and water. Deforestation and water diversion upstream worsen soil loss, leading to siltation and agro-chemical deposits downstream, which then leads to eutrophication of wetland ecosystems, reduced rainfall and reduced water flow to downstream swamps. All of this combines to cause a loss of wetland biodiversity, low crop output hence worsening food insecurity situation. These ecosystems have high potential to help mitigate climate change effects while enhancing conservation of papyrus-dependent birds in downstream swamps and vulnerable upstream biodiversity.

Previous work in this area led to a recognition of the sustainable natural resource based business opportunities by many local groups. This potential needs to be harnessed through further engaging the communities and promoting non-consumptive use of non-renewable natural resources and more utilization of renewable natural resources, thus leveraging conservation efforts. This project seeks to promote community-based sustainable utilization of ecosystem services to enhance climate change mitigation and conservation of biodiversity in interdependent ecosystems through educating upstream communities on rewarding livelihood options to counter existing threats.

This project is a continuation of several previous projects in the region:

  • Environmental Conservation School Outreach Programme
  • Community Involvement in Dunga Wetland Conservation
  • Promotion of Networks to Enhance Advocacy for Dunga Swamp Conservation
  • Integrated Management of Dunga and Nyando Wetland Systems