Community and Ecosystem based Approaches to restoration of Sironko river catchment

2012 Finalist

Sironko Valley Integrated Projects (SVIP) was established in 1993 as a Non- Governmental Organisation and operates in the Sironko and Mbale district of Eastern Uganda. SVIP is involved in natural resource management and income generating activities through self-help community initiatives.

More information about the organisation

SVIP was established to address the concerns of the people of the Sironko and Mbale district which include increasing population, environmental degradation and pressure on Mt Elgon National Park which is the water tower for this region, low standards of living and general underdevelopment.


1. Increase awareness about the linkage of improved management of Sironko river catchment to livelihoods 2. Develop and disseminate appropriate technologies for the restoration of Sironko river banks and sustainable harvesting and storage of water 3. Support establishment of sustainable agricultural enterprises, on farm production of forest products such as bamboo 4. Develop and disseminate alternative technologies to improve energy efficiency and use 5. Support establishment of revolving fund

Project description

To achieve the above-mentioned goals, it is planned

  • to construct central water reservoirs and equip them with pumping facilities,
  • to install water tanks for rainwater harvesting and storage in homes and schools and
  • to construct improved energy efficient cooking stoves and biogas plants.
  • to operate a community revolving fund and savings schemes
  • to implement farm production of bamboo and mushrooms
  • to establish close collaboration with local government at sub-county and district levels
  • to train the training local communities to assure the provision of the specific skills

Country / Region

Sironko Valley, Sironko District, Eastern Uganda

Information about local context

The Sironko district lies in the Eastern region of Uganda and derives its name from the Sironko River that flows to Lake Kyoga. The ecosystem constitutes a major catchment area, with its many tributaries draining into the major rivers that lead to such large water bodies as Kyoga. The Mt Elgon ecosystem contains habitats that support unique and diverse fauna and flora. It supports species of extreme conservation importance which are rare with limited distribution.

Participation of the communities

Under the community and ecosystem based approach, communities will be directly involved in planning, implementing and monitoring the interventions through Participatory Community Planning, while the ecosystem based approach will focus on the restoration of the key ecological components of the Sironko river catchment.

Long term viability

The established saving scheme will provide a mechanism for beneficiary communities to pass on the products to other community members. The training of community members will provide skills for continuing activities beyond the life of the project. The water reservoirs will continue to provide water for domestic use and agricultural production.

Status of project November 2011

The project is at the stage of scaling up and replicating best practices. During the last year, SVIP has been training communities in the operation of savings and credit schemes as well as equipping them with skills for erosion control and water storage.

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Sironko Valley Integrated Projects
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Sironko Valley, Sironko District, Eastern Uganda
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Sironko Valley Integrated Projects 99 Sironka
Mr. Paul Mafabi