Natural Resources

Natural Resources Department is headed by the acting District Natural Resources Officer Mr. Makwata Moses
Mandate: To coordinate, manage the sustainable exploitation and conservation of Natural Resources in the District.

Key functions
I. Enforcing the implementation of National Policies, Rules, Regulations and Council byelaws on sustainable exploitation of natural resources;
II. Managing the provision of extension services on natural resources;
III. Appraising work plans and technical proposals in regard to environment impact assessment;
IV. Preparing and submitting work plans and budgets for the Natural Resources subsector;
V. Tendering technical advice to the District Council and other stakeholders;JOB
VI. Managing issues of land tenure ownership and lease holdings in the district;
VII. Appraising and ascertaining compliance to land use regulations and the district infrastructure designs. Initiating and advising Council natural resources bye laws and ordinances;
VIII. Supervising and appraising the performance of the departmental staff; and
IX. Preparing and presenting performance reports to the District Council and other stakeholders.
Geographical Features
The District is characterized by geographical Features such as Rivers, Rocks, Vegetation, Swamps and Forests.
Topography: The altitude ranges between 1000 metres and 3500 metres above sea level. The topography is mainly green, interlocking and heavily cultivated hills with spectacular valleys. The upper and hilly part is densely populated and is prone to landslides while the lower plains is generally flat and prone to floods in the rainy season and drought in the dry seasons.
The District has three ecological zones: low lands, middle land and highlands and are based on altitude, temperatures, rainfall, soil types, and vegetation cover. The Upper zone/stream: This is an area of high altitude (between 2,300-2600m above sea level) with low temperatures, and fairly short erratic rains with volcanic loam soils. The Middle zone (midstream): This is an area of medium altitude (between 1200-2,300 metres above sea level) with high rainfall, U- shaped valleys, volcanic loam soils and fairly cool temperatures. The Lower zone (downstream): This is an area of low altitude (between 1000 -2000m above sea level) with high temperatures, very low rainfall. However, these areas are prone to draught, floods and insecurity from cattle rustlers from the communities of Amudat and Nakapirit.
Climate: The District experiences bimodal type of rainfall with the highest in the first season of March to June and the second, which is normally light, in September to November. A short dry spell is between June/July while the December to March spell is longer. In general there are no extreme temperature ranges; this condition is attributed to closeness to Mt. Elgon National forest Park for altitudinal modifications.
Rainfall and Temperature: The district receives high rainfall; the annual average rainfall is about 1,517mm per annum with a maximum of approximately 2,000mm. This very high rainfall is very supportive to intensive agriculture, which forms the backbone of the District economy. Temperatures averages about 18°C (64°F) during the day and fall to about 10 °C (50°F) at night. The relative humidity is between 90% and 100% in the morning and decreases to between 42% and 75% in the afternoon, all the year around. The district records highest temperature of up to 320C in the dry hot months of January-February and July – August. The mean temperature is between 200C and 270C. The minimum recorded temperature is 140C.
Drainage and Hydrology: Kween District is endowed with adequate surface and sub -surface water reserves with numerous rivers, streams and wetlands both permanent and seasonal. Minor valleys have seasonal swamps and rivers which contain water especially during the wet season. The water table along these swamps is quite high suitable for sinking shallow wells. The district slants generally towards the North and drained by a network of Rivers originating from the Mount Elgon National Park in the South all flowing towards the North. During the two rainy seasons, a large volume of water flows unused through streams to lakes and rivers in other districts. This wastage could be avoided if appropriate infrastructure facilities are in place for its harvesting and storage. As a result, the district has inadequate surface water. The only reliable perennial sources are the rivers that are beginning to dry in dry season and therefore the residents have travel for long distances in search of water. Most people in the district have built iron sheet houses whose water is not harvested hence causing huge volumes water affecting soil.
Soils and Geological Characterization: The soil texture is varied from place to place ranging from red laterite, sandy loam and volcanic soils. Show which place, subcounties has such and such soils and how characteristics have affected human activity The terrain is characteristically of tertiary volcanic of the Elgon series. The predominant rock material is agglomerates, which contains fragments of hard lava in matrix of volcanic ash. The ash is weathering, at the surface, at various rates. This releases rock fragments ranging in size from cobbles to massive boulders and these lie on the current surface or embedded in soil. The soil consists predominantly of volcanic decomposition products. Clays, which are red, black or grey, is intermingled with sand and gravel sized particles. There are occasional outcrops of hard lava which may be of high silica content and coarse grain structure in some areas in the district giving waterfalls where rivers cross such sections. The fertile nature of these soils has enhanced food security as a variety of crops are grown like maize, irish potatos, beans, rice, bananas, sorgum, millet, cassava among others.
Mineral Resources: The district is suspected to have a number of minerals currently under survey by the responsible ministry. The suspected minerals include gold, micah and bozolana. A survey of existence of petroleum is undertaken.
Flora and fauna: The District is richly endowed with natural resources such as fertile land that supports agriculture, forests as Mount Elgon Forest that is rich with biodiversity both fauna and flora, Caves, Several seasonal and permanent Rivers originating from the forested Mountain, deep valleys, high ridges, cliffs/rock walls, stone boulders, rock, scenic areas for viewing. The upper slopes of the District boarder with Mount Elgon National Park and the Lower flat areas are mainly rangelands with savanna woodland that is conducive for cattle keeping and mechanized agriculture but lacks water to support large scale commercial farming. As result of its rugged terrain on the higher areas of the District, the landscape is very fragile and highly sensitive to human disturbance leading to unprecedented environmental degradation both up and downstream
Land Use: The district has a total area of 851 sq. km, out of which arable land area is aprox 507 sq. km, National park is approximately 259 sq. km, swamps/wetlands is aprox. 20 and marginal land is aprox 16 sq km. About 95% of arable land is largely owned according to customary laws and used for agriculture activities such as crop cultivation and animal grazing. The average land area for agriculture is 1 acre per household. Land is highly fragmented. Over 80% of the households in the District depend mainly on subsistence agriculture as their main economic activity. Only 9.7% of the population was dependent on earned incomes and 0.4% on property income. With the increased pressure on land, poor land management practices are still rampant and has resulted to increased soil erosion, mudslides, wetland encroachment, deforestation, river bank degradation, flooding, water pollution, siltation has exacerbated negative impacts of climate among others. Land conflicts between UWA and local community within the greater Benet community, inter-district boundaries between Bukwo, Bulambuli and the District.
Natural Endowments
Kween district is one of the districts that has good tourist potential attractions which can generate a lot of Revenue for the District and yet these sites are not fully developed. However, the District is still grappling with Low Revenue. The district does not only boast of a rich culture and natural heritage, we also boarder Mt. Elgon with the longest stretch compared to both Bukwo and Kapchorwa in the Sebei region. These have been home to the mountain elephant, the buffaloes the leopard, several species of antelopes, several species of monkeys, the hyena among others, different species of trees including the famous Elgon- teak. Kween district is gifted with several archeological caves and sites that can attract learners. Kween is the only place that we see God change his mind and join two rivers Nyalit and Siit change course and drain its water to the great Lake Kyoga instead of draining to Kenya like Rivers Suam and Bukwo. Kween is endowed with Great potentiality that can be translated into several tourism activities when properly and purposefully organized.
Unexploited tourist attractions in the district
Sub county Tourist attraction
Benet Mengya Falls And Cliffs; Atar Falls In Tambajja; Basket Crafts Made of Bamboo
Binyiny Kosowon Falls; Tukumo Falls; Tukumo Cliff/Rocks
Kaproron Kapkworor Rocks; Lelketi Cliff; Bunder Falls
Kaptoyoy Atar Falls Around Ngoromwo; Ngenge Falls Around Kapterer Lower Side; Ngenge Falls Around The Bridge
Kaptum Wisa Cave; Kumweny Cave; Kapswitet Cliff; Kewamoa Rock; Sundet Falls Around Kitimo Rocks; Kobono Wok Cave; Kobono Ware Cave; Kuroto Cliff
Kiriki Greek River Waters; Kiriki Hills; Korite Hill; Kukumai Wild Life; Kere Falls Upper Side
Kitawoi Mukuso Café; Teren Poy Rock with Pot Like Holes; Karengalekwa Rock With Leg Like Baskets
Kwanyiny Greek River; Kapkwata Kworus Rock; Kapkwata Forest; Kapchemayam Café; Greek River Falls In The Lower Side Of Kabarotwo
Kwosir Tuikat Hill; Kamwam Hil; Kortowo Malil Cliff; Kisito Rock; Bamboo Baskets
Moyok Kere Fall near The Farm Institute; Kere Farm Institute; Kere Falls Around London Rocks
Ngenge Kakwot Hill; Kaimareng Hill; Rocks And Cliffs= Prayer Mountain

Forests: The district only has Mt Elgon National Park with land area of 259 sqkms of Mt. Elgon National park which is under the management of UWA. The district enjoys benefits from the park such as biodiveristy, revenue, gene pool, water tower, research and education, eco-tourism development, bee keeping and climate moderation. The district has been implementing efforts towards increasing tree cover through provision of tree seedlings and awareness creation for mindset change, promotion of energy saving technologies, river bank restoration by demarcation. There is need to develop several spots to promote tourism activities like bird viewing, nature walks, abseiling, rock climbing, cave viewing, cultural promotions/ heritage, agritourism among others.
Wetlands: the district has 5 swamps/wetlands is aprox. 20 (Atar, Ngenge, Kere, Sundet and Kubal). Most of the wetlands are getting degraded due to encroachment, poor farming methods resulting into siltations. There have been efforts to restore these wetlands through buffer protection, sensitization. The wetlands can still benefit the district through minimal edge wetland cultivation on crops like rice, yams, horticulture, fish farming and tourism.
Rivers: the district has a network of rivers and streams emerging from M. Elgon foerst. There are six major rivers in the district which include Atari, Ngenge, Yemtyong, Chepyakaniet, Sundet, Kere and Siit. There are three streams such as Cheberen, Tabagon, Kaplegep. There are efforts to protect the rivers streams through demarcations, planting bampoo and other indigenous trees. There investments along these rivers such as Ngenge Irrigation scheme, Gravity flow schemes, micro hydro power generation. However, there is still great potential from these rivers to provide adequate water for production and household use, fish farming, micro hydro power generation and tourism from the numerous water falls.