The Government of Japan has been providing funds to local non-profit organizations through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) since 1989.
Today, the Presentation of Special Seedlings for a GGP project “The Project for the Rehabilitation of Kalimani Earth Dam” was held in Kalimani Location, Matinyani Division, Matinyani District, Kitui County. The Grant Contract of this project had previously been signed at the Embassy of Japan in Nairobi on 30th of September 2015 by H.E. Mr. Tatsushi Terada, the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya and Mrs. Edith Martha Mulwa, representative of the grantee organization, Initiative for Green Kenya.
The project received a grant amounting to USD 101,159 (approx. Kshs 9.1 Million) for the rehabilitation of the earth dam, construction of water withdrawal systems, fencing and seedling plants to improve the access to clean water.
Kalimani Earth Dam was built in the 1980s through manual labor, but the dam silted up and unfortunately breached in 2005. Though there was plenty of rainfall during the rainy season, ever since the dam breached, the dam was not able to hold enough water and most of it flowed out of the dam. Therefore, during the dry season, people in the community had to walk approximately 10km per day to a seasonal river which they had to scoop a hole each time they fetched water. Even before the dam breached, there were problems such as contamination by cattle waste causing water borne diseases and children drowning in the dam.
For those reasons, the GGP project is expected to improve the access to clean water by rehabilitating the silted and breached dam with fences around the earth dam, so to avoid the direct access to the reservoir to make it a safe dam. The project is still ongoing, but the vast amount of silt was excavated and the embankment was rehabilitated, therefore the project reached to the stage of planting the seedlings.
The main purpose of planting the seedlings around the earth dam is; First, to reduce the amount of soils and sands flowing into the dam. If the amount of silt reduces, the water capacity of the earth dam will remain high and the quality of the water will improve. Secondly, planting the seedlings around the reservoir will create shades around the earth dam which can reduce the amount of evaporation caused by the strong sun.
For this project, more than 100 special seedlings were donated by the joint project between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) called, “Project on Development of Drought Tolerant Trees for Adaptation to Climate Change in Dry lands of Kenya”. Under this project, the institutions have conducted improved propagation of a fast-growing indigenous tree, suitable for Kenya’s arid and semi-arid areas. The special seedling called, “Melia Volkensii”, grows to an average of 2 meters in only 6 months.
Ambassador Terada expressed his appreciation to JICA and KEFRI for donating the special seedling plants to the GGP project and emphasized that it is the first GGP project to collaborate with the joint project between JICA and KEFRI. In his speech, he said “It is important for the Government of Japan to find ways to collaborate with the necessary institutions and people to enhance the activities that we are doing in Kenya” and promised that the Embassy will continue providing their full support to make this project successful.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of September 2016.
Information on the Ceremony
The Project for the Rehabilitation of Kalimani Earth Dam
Initiative for Green Kenya
USD 101,159 (approx. Kshs 9.1 Million)
Presentation of Special Seedlings donated through JICA/ KEFRI Project
26th April 2016
Project Site : Kalimani Earth Dam
Kalimani Location, Matinyani Division, Matinyani District, Kitui
Mr. Jacob Mwandikwa – Chief Officer for Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation of Kitui County
H.E. Mr. Tatsushi Terada – Ambassador of Japan to Kenya
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of Japan in Kenya.
Source:: Rehabilitation of Kalimani Earth Dam