Mutara and Suguroi WRUAs both drain into the Mutara Conservation Area in Laikipia County. They share challenges including water scarcity, financial sustainability, and water use conflicts between upstream and downstream users, riparian degradation, and lack of adequate community support.
36 members of Mutara and Suguroi Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) made a visit to Lake Bogoria Basin WRUA in the Rift Valley Basin Area. The “benchmarking” trip was organized as part of the FFI/OPC project implemented with funds from the Darwin Initiative in association with the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP). The trip highlighted matters of organization and management of water resources by the Bogoria Basin WRUA.
Although both WRUAs have developed the all-important tool to guide water infrastructure investment – their Sub Catchment Management Plans, they have not succeeded in fundraising to implement the plans. Both lack an operational/administrative structure to run the day-to-day WRUA operations.
The WRUAs visited the Bogoria WRUA main office in Subukia where they learned about all the administrative and operational activities of the WRUA. Later, the Laikipia visited the common intake to learn about how the intake has succeeded in reducing water use conflicts between upstream and downstream water users.
A Testimonial from Nancy Karuri, Chairperson of the Mutara WRUA
“This field visit presents very interesting lessons to me and the other 17 WRUA members and stakeholders from Mutara sub catchment that joined this visit. We have seen the power of community mobilization and support to the WRUA, and the serious commitment of the Bogoria WRUA officials to ensure the WRUA is operational and accountable to its members. Going forward, I have the following take away points for our WRUA:
- Mutara WRUA will need to redefine its governance structure to ensure that there is more grassroot representation from members across the river section. The Bogoria WRUA has established 9 zones, each with organized leadership, ensuring that the WRUA has ears on every section of the ground and hence support from all quarters.
- We need to formulate a new strategy for developing water rationing plan. Mutara WRUA water rationing plan is developed by the WRUA management committee and shared to the water users to follow and comply. This requires increased monitoring and enforcement by the management committee to ensure success. The Bogoria WRUA water rationing plan is developed by water users within zones and hence water users own it and follow to ensure compliance. This is seen as a more successful approach and requires less monitoring and follow up from the WRUA management.
- It is of extreme urgency for Mutara to establish a running office to improve the WRUA operations and record keeping. The Bogoria WRUA shares its office with other institutions to reduce the overhead costs. Mutara WRUA will explore the same possibility and ensure that it has set up an office before the end of June.
- We are certainly going to accelerate our efforts towards construction of a common intake in Mutara to serve the same purpose as the Bogoria WRUA has done to help us ensure equitable water allocation”
This particular activity was courtesy of the Laikipia Water, Cattle and Wildlife programme that is supported by