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State launches Sh12 billion four-year plan to protect water towers

By Graham Kajilwa | February 8th 2016

The Government has unveiled a Sh12.3 billion strategic plan to protect water towers and maximise on their economic potential.

The four-year plan will promote green investments and enterprises in alternative energy to protect forest cover.

A report by Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) shows targeted towers are the Mau Complex, Cherengani Hills, Mount Kenya, the Aberdare, and Mount Elgon which are said to be facing rapid degradation due to population pressure.

Of the 18 gazetted water towers, the Aberdares and Mau forests will be prioritised considering their economic impact on agriculture and tourism.

There are other 30 water towers already identified but only 11 have been gazetted.

Speaking during the launch of the plan, KWTA Chair Isaac Kalua said all land in gazetted water catchment areas will have title deeds in order to have them secured.

"In 2015 alone, over 2,500 acres of water tower land had been encroached," said Kalua.

"As the population grows with the demand for land increasing due to urbanisation, the major challenge becomes on how to balance economic development and conservation programmes as they are intertwined," said Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu.

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