KNA Climate change coupled with rapid population growth is likely to stress water reserves and make it difficult for farmers to irrigate their farms, and to avert the negative eventuality, Egerton University has partnered with various stakeholders to plant trees along the Njoro River.
The coordinator of the River Njoro rehabilitation project Prof. Charles M’Erimba said trees and grass belts along water bodies, commonly referred to as riparian corridors were important in stabilizing streambanks, and they acted as buffers of pollutants from entering a stream through runoff water carrying garbage.
He said the riparian corridors or vegetable buffer strips controlled erosion and provided habitat and nutrient input into the stream. But farmers have cultivated up to the river banks and that has contributed to the drying up or reduction of numerous river sizes throughout the country.
He said the riparian corridors contribsuted to the balance of oxygen, nutrients, and sediments, besides providing habitat and food to fauna. However, a number of farmers have failed to appreciate and respect the vegetated buffer stream along their farms.
Prof. M’Erimba added that rivers and streams are sometimes regarded as the ‘’kidneys of the earth’’ because of their filtration of the air, which leads to a clean environment for human beings and other animals.
He noted that the country’s Vision 2030 spells out the mechanisms of conserving all the water catchments in the country and Egerton University was mandated to conserve Njoro River, which emanates from the Eastern side of the Mau forest.
In addition, he said this year the University targets to plant 500 tree seedlings along the river, and he urged communities along the river to protect it for posterity. He was speaking today during an interview with KNA at the university.
Njoro River is one of the main rivers that contribute water to Lake Nakuru National Park, which is home to thousands of flamingoes, wild animals, and diverse tree species.
Close to 600,000 people in Nakuru County depend on the river for drinking water, irrigation and watering their animals, hence the solemn anxiety over its pollution.