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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)

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Ol Pejeta, Fauna and Flora International and MKEWP in Concert!

Water Act 2016

A community member of Mutara shares with WRUA Cluster during the sensitization on Water Act 2016.

58 Water Resources User Associations (WRUA) members from three sub-catchments in the Greater Laikipia landscape participated in a good governance efforts led by MKEWP in partnership with Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Fauna and Flora International.  They learned about the new policies for water, and the devolved functions of County Governments in water management.

The “Guide to the 2016 Water Act” is a MKEWP product that uses a simple guidebook of questions, answers and illustrations to inform water users on the major elements of the new water legislation.  The Guide answers a 100 practical questions that address the critical elements of the Act.

In recent months, the Partnership has been distributing the Guide and empowering communities within the Ewaso basin through the WRUA Clusters – Mutara WRUA Cluster in East Laikipia is the latest beneficiary of the sensitization exercise as part of Fauna and Flora International /OPC Project in the area.

Copies of the Guide to Water Act 2016 were also distributed to enable the WRUA management to continue sensitizing their members in the Pesi, Mutara and Surguroi WRUAs.

The Water Cluster Model is used to address common water conservation and management between river systems that share similar demographics, land use, and water governance challenges. The WRUA Cluster is used to expedite the delivery of messages, management, and technology, as well as to increase the sense of solidarity, planning and purpose across sub-catchment lines. By using this model, MKEWP is able to increase the effectiveness of its outreach and water monitoring activities, and to build comparative advantages between Clusters as a result of increased social cohesion. The Cluster also helps to increase the leverage of WRUAs on water management issues.

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).

For these and other updates, ensure that you follow us on Facebook, Twitter: @MKEWP, or contact MKEWP’s Coordinator – Stanley Kirimi: stanley.kirimi@laikipia.org, to find out how you can join or support MKEWP.