Project to protect Hope, Yallahs River watersheds gets $119m

Project to protect Hope, Yallahs River watersheds gets $119m

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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APPROXIMATELY 120 farmers in the Yallahs and Hope River watershed areas of the Blue Mountains will be trained in land husbandry best practices in the upcoming fiscal year.

A sum of $119 million has been set aside in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure to carry out this and other tasks under the Integrated Management of the Yallahs/Hope River Watershed Area project.

The project seeks to reduce pressure on natural resources in the watershed areas by increasing the practice of sustainable land use, resulting in improved management of biological diversity and enhanced flow of ecosystem services that sustain local livelihoods.

The money will also be used to strengthen the activities of four community groups, conduct a knowledge exchange tour, improve agricultural practices in two communities, and implement a communication plan.

Other imperatives for the fiscal year are completion of the review for the watershed area management mechanism, designing a payment for ecosystem services scheme, as well as implementation of the Global Information System Decision Support System.

The project got under way in September 2012 and some of the achievements to date include the training of 167 farmers in land husbandry best practices, and six communities trained in forest fire management.

Also, 26 hectares of reforested land have been maintained, a farmer field school graduation held for 167 farmers, and a watershed policy drafted and submitted to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

The project is being implemented by National Environment and Planning Agency, with funding support from the Government and the Global Environment Facility.

It is slated to end in November 2019.

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