PAUL MWADIME KOMBO’S VETIVER NETWORK EYES NAIROBI RIVER BASIN
Paul Mwadime Kombo’s Vetiver Network System Technology has challenged Nairobi City County authorities to adopt the new technology in its fight to enhance clean water and to re-habilitate the Nairobi River Basin and Dam.
The world-renowned vetiver grass has been touted as having a big potential in waste water purification and stabilization of river banks. The system has also been known to sustain green river banks and zero erosion all year round.
According to Paul Mwadime Kombo, the vetiver system has not only been proven as a green solution in environmental issues and climate change, but can, also, be used to stabilize National and County infrastructure like highways, railway lines, culverts, drainages and landscaping, on-farm, gulley-hilling, reclamation of dumping sites, mining areas, grazing lands, decoration, thatching materials, handicrafts, etc. Thus, It is also being regarded as a future industry.
Paul Mwadime Kombo, who fronts the promotion of Vetiver System Technology in Kenya, has been operating from a 15-acre farm at Msinga area in Voi Town for the last 12 years. Previously, he had operated a similar farm at Gimba area also within the outskirts
of Voi Town , but, which he
lost unfortunately to arsonists who were later arraigned before Voi Court for the crime of arson in late 2008.
In 2010, Paul Mwadime Kombo was named as an Environmental Warrior in his vetiver promotional works in Taita Taveta County, during that year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations held at Voi Moi Stadium.
In 2011, Paul Mwadime Kombo was further awarded the Certificate of Technical Excellence in vetiver system technology by the Vetiver Network International, TVN of Washington, DC. In 2012, he was invited to the PGA Gala Night at the KICC Comesa Grounds, being among the Prestigious Green Award nominees.
Paul Mwadime Kombo was successfully engaged by Wundanyi CDF Environmental Kitty to re-habilitate 2.4 Kilometres of Wundanyi River in July 2012 using the Vetiver System Technology. Unfortunately, the re-habilitation work has stopped after doing a quarter Kilometre only, due to lack of funding.
Although he has attempted to re-habilitate some parts of Voi River bank using the Vetiver System Technology which recorded impressive results, Paul Mwadime Kombo laments however, the lack of official support from both Central Government and the former Voi Municipal Council as well as, members of the public. Says Paul Mwadime Kombo, “ There were cases of corruption involving sand harvesters and brick-makers along Voi River Basin and some rotten former Administration and Agriculture officials. The same applied to Voi Municipal Council officials collecting cess from the same activities. The combined effect has been very damaging to Voi River Basin!” Voi River currently is a pale, ugly shadow of its former glory forcing residents of the surrounding areas to find alternative ways of fetching water. The same problem has caused human and wildlife conflicts along the River Basin as elephants and other wild game like gazelles, leopards and even lions go out of the Tsavo East National Park in search of water as they destroy farm produce. In some cases, lions have even mauled domestic animals like goats, sheep, cows and dogs.
Paul Mwadime Kombo believes that although a lot of work has evidently been done by the Government over the Nairobi River Basin, especially during the tenure of Hon. John Michuki as Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, there is still a dire need to consolidate the gains, as Nairobians become more aware of the potential benefits associated with vetiver grass.
Voi City, February, 2014.