River systems in the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro Basin originate in the water towers of Mount Kenya and Abedares, but climate change, increasing population, and settlement have led to the intensive use of, competition for and conflicts over existing water resources.
The basin experiences very high water demand for irrigation in the dry season, when surface water resources are low. The result is that the environmental water flow required by law is at risk and water use conflicts arise. The situation is the worst in the Laikipia North sub-county, including Mukogodo East, West, and Sosian wards.
Many cases of conflicts have been documented in these regions especially in the dry seasons. Instances of communities attacking each other over diminishing water resources and pasture are a common thing ,not to mention human wildlife conflicts that result from competition for water.
Although a variety of institutions have been established to address many of these challenges in this area, weak institutional linkages, conflicting mandates, and financial constraints have limited the effective implementation of water resource management and conservation in the area.
Prompted by this, MKEWP saw the need meet with stakeholders in the water sector. The meeting was attended by several key-players in the region. The County Government of Laikipia joined along with the Water Department, the Water Resources Authority Regional Manager, Habitat for Humanity, IMPACT, Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP-Kenya), Ilmamusi Community Forest Association, Communities Health Africa Trust (CHAT) and the Laikipia Forum.
MKEWP plays an important coordinating role. It encourages each stakeholder to participate in a more collaborative approach and it supports the coordination of their activities. The stakeholders were encouraged to establish relationships to enhance the efficiency and delivery of water services, increase transparency and accountability regarding water allocation and ensure sustainable use and conservation of the catchment areas.
The stakeholders agreed on the need for the region-specific partnerships towards IWRM water and all consented to have quarterly meetings for harmonized efforts. MKEWP will lead in the coordination of these efforts.
The meeting was held on the 21st of February 2020 at the Ewaso Ng’iro North Catchment Area WRA regional office.
MKEWP is a member of the Laikipia Forum and enjoys financial, administrative, and logistical support from the Forum’s HQ in Nanyuki.