In February this year, the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) together with the Water Resources Authority (WRA) and Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) embarked on a mission to make Laikipia’s rivers flow again. Their collaboration yielded encouraging results, with about 60 per cent of our rivers recording good flows. WRUAs that closed abstractions so that other water users downstream can receive some water must be congratulated. These WRUAs are Timau, Likii, Nanyuki, Burguret, Upper Ewaso Ng’iro and Ngobit Rivers.
But we challenge the water administrators of the Karemenu, Naromoru, Rongai, Ontuliili, Sirimon and Teleswani WRUAs. They have to step-up their efforts to manage their water resources so that flowing rivers may be restored.
In March, an MKEWP team visited the slopes of Mt. Kenya to find a desperate situation at the moorlands where streams and rivers have been reduced to a trickle. This section of Mt. Kenya has been drained making the moorland very dry and prone to fires. Illegal water projects are scrambling to dominate the dwindling water resources left, with total disregard for the Park, the Forest Reserve and downstream water users.
WRMA has increased monitoring and enforcement activities to reduce illegal abstractions. They have also banned abstractions of river water for irrigation use during this time. This is per the Water Resource Management Rules 2007. There can be NO abstraction of water for irrigation use during dry periods and where the water levels are below normal.
We appeal to all farmers in the upper and middle region to COMPLETELY STOP IRRIGATION. Anybody found violating this will be prosecuted!
WRMA, WRUAs and MKEWP have set up the following hotline number: 0740214545.
Kindly call this number to report illegal water activities for action.
Illegal water abstractors will be named and shamed in future MKEWP updates.