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Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Fauna & Flora, and MKEWP Joined in Support of Mutara Communities

mutara

Chief of Mutara Location speaks to residents during a meeting to resolve water crisis and conflicts between downstream and upstream water users in the area. The meeting was organised by partnership of Water Resource Authority, Ol Pejeta, MKEWP and WRUA members.

 Over the last few months, this partnership has hosted a series of engagements with WRUA members in Mutara and Suguroi Sub-Catchments of the Ewaso Basin.

The partnership is tackling issues related to water conflicts. They have also offered training of WRUA members on water conservation and management, focusing on a more equitable supply of water between upper and lower catchment water users.

Moreover, the partnership has focused on the mandatory development of the Sub-Catchment Management Plans , and is pushing for more women to participate in the management of water resources actively.

These partners are working together with the Water Resource Authority (WRA), Water Resources User Associations (WRUA), project committees and pastoral communities in the two catchments.

Water Crisis

A significant increase of acreage under irrigation and over-abstraction from users in all the zones of Mutara have contributed to conflicts between users in the upper and lower zones. This over-abstraction is causing conflicts with down-stream water users. In water crisis meetings held since September 2018, the partnership:

  • Developed water rationing plans prior to dry months, when most water conflict occur.
  • Supported Smart Water Agriculture – Farmers are helped to adopt modern farming technologies to reduce water wastage.
  • Supported a Ksh 10,000 fine on Community Water Projects that go against rationing plans and other regulations agreed on between the WRA and WRUAs.

Training of Community Members

Over 80 WRUA members have been trained on different aspects of water conservation, smart water agriculture, and good governance.

More specifically, farmers in the catchment now have access to a simple manual in line with the current agricultural policy used by the water and extension officers of the County to train farmers.

MKEWP has also facilitated farmers from Mutara-Suguroi to visit model farms in three counties (Laikipia, Nyeri and Meru) to learn about Smart Water Agriculture and market-based solutions.

Mutara WRUA member speaks during a meeting organized by MKEWP to train the community on catchment protection and sensitize them on the 2016 Water Act.

Mutara Sub-Catchment Management Plan

Finally, plans to develop the Mutara Sub-Catchment Management Plan (SCMP), by March 2019 are underway.

In its preparation, WRA, with help from Ol Pejeta Conservancy, conducted an abstraction survey while MKEWP commissioned a river study for the Mutara River. These two studies will come in handy in the development of the final plan. The SCMPs guide the management and maintenance of the sub-catchment by communities.

In 2019 MKEWP will continue to work with Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC) in the Mutara area on the Cattle, Water and Wildlife in Laikipia.

Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government funding.

The project is implemented with partnership of FFI, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and LWF through Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP)