The European Union (EU) suspended its Sh3.6billion funding to Kenya’s water towers after two murders in Elgeyo Marakwet.
It said the killing of a member of the Sengwer community and shooting of another by the Kenyan Forest Service guards on Tuesday left them with no choice but suspend its funding.
Kenya Forest Service (KFS) wardens shot dead Mr Robert Kirotich, a herder while evicting the Sengwer community from Embobut forest on Tuesday. This sparked widespread outrage in the area.
“Yesterday’s shooting took place after we had formally alerted Kenya’s government that the use of force by Kenya Forest Service guards in the Embobut Forest or elsewhere against innocent locals would lead the EU to suspend its financial support for conservation work on the countries water towers,” EU Ambassador to Kenya Stefano A. Dejak said in a statement.
The EU is the financier of the water towers protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation programme.
The project seeks to protect the ground supplies of water, known as water towers, in the Mount Elgon and Cherengani Hills areas of Kenya. It was launched in June 2016. It entails planting trees, restoration of degraded land and water catchment areas that are major sources of water flowing into Lake Victoria and the Nile basin.