The 2015 Imarisha Naivasha Annual Stakeholders Conference

The 2015 Imarisha Naivasha Annual Stakeholders Conference held at the Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge in Naivasha was a flying success. The organizers and the participants cited the diversity of stakeholders' who participated, quality of presentations and vibrant debate during this year's event as markers of its success.
Coming in the backdrop of ongoing international talks on climate change in Paris, France, the annual event, whose theme was "Environmental Sustainability for Climate Change Resilience", featured presentations that had strong thematic leanings towards climate change adaptation and resilience.
Beside the presentations, the event also included exhibitions on the sidelines of the talks to showcase some of the products of diverse interventions and innovations that have been adopted within the Basin.
Participants took time off the conference presentations and discussions to visit the exhibition stands erected inside a large tent beside the main meeting hall to learn more about innovations in the fields of alternative energy, solid waste management, apiculture, sanitation, agriculture and tourism. These are some of the innovations that are being adopted by the local communities to overcome climate change challenges.
The exhibitors included Friends of Kinangop who showcased tourism products, Wool spinners who brought sheep wool products, Sanivation who deal with sanitation around Naivasha, and Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) who brought education material on wildlife.
Others were Hifadhi Farmers Cooperative who showcased modern apiculture equipment, Kwa Muhia Environmental Group who deal with solid waste management and the Ministry of Agriculture who exhibited food crops and advised on modern farming methods.
The GIZ Energizing Development (EnDev) Program did not exhibit but had a presentation and banners on the energy saving jikos that it is promoting within the Basin.
Inside the main hall where the conference was taking place, a renowned group of presenters dominated the program. There was also a panel plenary to stimulate discussions among participants on some of the pertinent issues facing the Basin.
In his opening speech, the Imarisha Naivasha Management Board Chairman, Cyrus Karingithi, welcomed participants to the conference, saying that it offered an opportunity to build strategic partnerships towards finding lasting solutions to some of the social and ecological challenges facing the Basin.
"There is need for all stakeholders to come together in a strategic partnership to ensure that the collective dream we have for this Basin, one that guarantees economic prosperity and environmental sustainability beyond this generation and the next, is achieved," he said.
After the official opening of the conference, the presenters took centre stage, moderated by Lake Naivasha Growers Group (LNGG) CEO and Imarisha Naivasha Board member, Joseph Kariuki and Imarisha Naivasha CEO, Kamau Mbogo. Mr Kariuki introduced the presenters, who had 10 minutes each to conclude their presentations.
First up was Dr. Francis Mwaura who gave a talk on the domestication of the 2009 climate change response strategy in the Lake Naivasha Basin to set the mood for the events. Prof. David Harper, an eminent scholar and researcher, was next with a presentation on how the Lake Naivasha Basin could lead the world with win-win mitigation solutions into climate change.
This was followed by Dr. Oliver Nasirwa who showed trends of water bird numbers in Lake Naivasha from 1991 to 2015 and Timothy Mwinami who revealed the biodiversity trends within the Basin. It is important to note that birds are a very critical indicator in monitoring ecosystem health and climatic changes.
Daniel Koros of WWF gave a talk on farming for climate change resilience in the Basin before Maxwel Musoka of the GIZ Energizing Development in Kenya (EnDev) program stepped to the podium to give a presentation on the energy saving jikos initiative within the Basin.
Before wrapping up the morning session, a panel plenary moderated by Willis Memo of the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) engaged the audience in discussions on some of the pertinent issues afflicting the Basin.
Prof. David Harper once again challenged participants with a presentation on human influences on ecosystem change that showed how increasing vegetation cover could lead to significant cooling of the earth surface and enhanced water retention capacity in the atmosphere.
Reconcile CEO Shadrack Omondi delivered a talk on devolution and opportunities in environmental resource management while Bernard Omuya presented on the prospects of water resource management within the Lake Naivasha Basin.
LANAWRUA chairman Enoch Kiminta gave insight into community and stakeholder participation in natural resource management before the session wrapped up for lunch.
In the afternoon session, more presenters took to the stage. The GIZ Project Manager in charge of the INWaSP program, James Chomba, talked about managing shared threats towards water security within the Lake Naivasha Basin.
Lake Naivasha Riparian Association (LNRA) Monitoring Officer Silas Wanjala, presented on the status and opportunities in waste management in Naivasha. Tesfaye B. Woldeyohanes, a doctoral student from the University of Bonn in Germany, presented his thesis work on hydro-ecological modeling of water resources management in the Lake Naivasha Basin for resilience assessment. Tesfaye is in Basin to do more study on this research topic.
The Naivasha Sub County Agricultural Officer, Dorothy Lemein, talked about agriculture and adaptation to climate change, while the Fisheries Officer, Mathew Ngila, presented on the status of fisheries in Lake Naivasha.
Last to present was James Last, who had also been acting as the moderator of the afternoon session together with Japheth Koros of GIZ. He gave a talk on the current status of catfish in Lake Naivasha. A short plenary session capped an engaging evening, after which Imarisha Naivasha CEO, Kamau Mbogo, delivered a speech to thank the participants and exhibitors.
After a prayer session, the meeting was concluded by the MC of the day, Ruth Gathura, who wished everyone journey mercies as they travelled back to their respective destinations. Thus ended a day filled with a lot of activity and debate, all centering on climate change and how the Lake Naivasha Basin can best cope with the adverse effects.
A subject covered exhaustively in the encompassing theme, "environmental sustainability for climate change resilience", climate change is an issue of national and international concern. As noted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity generate significant and practical nature-based solutions to climate change.
Find the insightful article here for your consumption.

Imarisha Naivasha Board's Induction Training in Corporate Governance


One of the trainers from the Institute of Directors take board members through a session on strategic leadership at the Elementaita Country Lodge on June 23, 2015

The Imarisha Lake Naivasha Management Board was recently taken through a two-day induction training in governance and leadership. The training was facilitated by trainers from the Institute of Directors.

The training, which took place on June 23 and 24 at the Elementaita Country Lodge, was meant to provide board members with critical insights into the principles and practice of strategic leadership as well as both prevailing and emergent issues in corporate governance.

The 16 board members were taken through various topics such as strategic leadership, the roles of Boards of Directors in corporate leadership, ethical issues in leadership, effective organizational communication, among others.

According to the trainers from the Institute of Directors, the sessions were meant to equip the new board with skills necessary for the execution of their mandate at Imarisha Naivasha.

The current Imarisha Naivasha Board, the second to be formed since the inception of the institution in 2011, was unveiled through Gazette notice no. 1559 of March 13, 2015.

The Imarisha Naivasha board and management team in a group photo

The Board’s membership is constituted with representation from various stakeholders in the Lake Naivasha Basin including pastoralist communities, Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs), riparian landowners through the Lake Naivasha Riparian Association (LNRA), the hotel and tourism industry, the fishing industry, and Community Forest Associations (CFAs).

Other interests represented are the county governments of Nakuru, Nyandarua and Narok through their respective CECs in charge of Environment, the Kenya Water Towers Agency, and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The training comes at a time when the Board is trying to chart a strategic direction for the organization with a view to enable it to achieve the vision of the 10-year Lake Naivasha Basin Integrated Management Plan and the midterm five year Sustainable Development Action Plan.

During a plenary session, members agreed that the long-term strategic goal for restoration of the Lake Naivasha Basin should incorporate an outlook of at least 30-50 years.

Imarisha sponsors school cleanup project

An environmental awareness and cleanup project, targeting schoolchildren and communities living around Lake Naivasha, has been launched courtesy of Imarisha Naivasha and the Elsamere Centre for Education in Sustainability.

Dubbed the “Lake Naivasha Basin Schools Environmental Outreach and Cleanup Programme”, the one year project seeks to impart knowledge and skills on environmental protection and solid waste management among children and local communities through sponsored cleanups of shopping centres and residential areas within the Basin.

“Young minds are very impressionable and that is why it is important for us to reach out to them with the message of environmental protection because they are the future custodians of the environment,” Susan, an Education Officer at Elsamere, told Imarisha Naivasha News.

The theme of the project is “clean environment, healthy lives.”

The organizers chose Kamere village as a launching pad for the project. The event took place on Friday, June 12 2015 and attracted hundreds of participants including learners from four different schools, representatives from Non Governmental Organizations, government agencies, private businesses, local authorities and community based organizations.

Over 200 pupils drawn from Sher Academy, Sher Moi School, Maua primary school and Mvuke primary schools attended the event which was funded by Imarisha. KenGen and Finlays donated trucks which were used to transport the collected waste.

Various stakeholders like KenGen, Elsamere, NEMA, Finlays and Kwa- Muhia Environmental Group were ably represented. Kongoni Assistant County Commissioner, Mr. John Victor Opondo and Hells Gate location Assistant Chief represented the Nakuru County Government.

The Naivasha sub-county environment officer Mr. Sammy Ngigi was also in attendance.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Opondo pledged his support to the project, saying that it would benefit the community and commended Imarisha Naivasha and Elsamere for their great work as sponsors.

“We know Imarisha has done a good job in Kwa Muhia and seeing them here is therefore reassuring. Kamere will now be a different place free of uncollected garbage thanks to this project. We would like to see this replicated in other villages as well,” he said.

Imarisha team out for bonding session

Laughter, fun and games marked Imarisha Naivasha’s staff team-building outing held at the Lake Naivasha Resort grounds on Saturday, June 13 2015.

A series of daunting physical and mental exercises tested the mettle of participants who were drawn into two teams of seven and six as they tried to best each other in different games.

Singing games, a blindfolded tug-of-war, tests of concentration and rolling a marble down a channel were some of the myriad mind games and physical tests that Byron, the trainer, had in his neat bag of tricks to confound and shell shock the ill prepared participants.

The highlight of the day, whose theme Byron had aptly christened “the transformation of the eagle”, was a team event in which participants were expected to lift bucketfuls of water high into the air using their feet.

That particular event, while leaving all involved screaming in laughter, also left many soaked to the skin…some more than others!

Participants also took home some vital lessons on communication and conflict resolution in the workplace, with a particular exercise leaving participants in stitches…and lots of knowing winks!

First, participants were asked to form a circle. Next, the trainer whispered something into the ears of one of the participants and instructed him to pass on the message round the circular human chain until it got to the source.

The whispered message passed from one ear to the next in muted tones and was only revealed after it had reached the source.

Wonder of wonders, when the first person was asked to reveal what had been whispered back to him by the last person, the message had been completely distorted!

This led to another round of guessing games as everyone tried to identify the point at which the initial message got…uhm, lost in translation!

Lesson: for effective communication in the workplace, avoid gossip and innuendo. Everything has to be written down for future reference!!!

At the end of the day, everyone had loads of fun and some vital lessons were learnt. The Imarisha team is looking forward to the next team-building session.

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Naivasha, Kenya.

Tel: +254 (50) 2030456


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