A common intake is an engineered, community-led solution to capture and distribute water equitably from a river to community destinations.
Laikipia/Nyandarua Water Sector Stakeholders ranging from the Water Resources Authority, the County Governments of Laikipia and Nyandarua, WRUA representatives from Mutara, Community Water Projects and the Ol Pejeta/FFI led Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project, unanimously committed to the construction of a common intake on the Mutara River as a way of improving water security in their area. This move was resolved during the stakeholders meeting held at the Eastward Garden Hotel in Nyahururu, Laikipia County on the 17th of December 2020.
Construction of a common intake was identified as the best and most sustainable solution to help curb the water abuses in the Mutara region, west of OPC. The continuous encroachment at the source and illegal abstraction of water and its inefficient use have been constantly highlighted as the key problems that eventually lead to water conflicts in this river system.
In light of this initiative, James Mwangi, the Water Specialist for the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership highlighted that the Laikipia Cattle, Water and Wildlife Project, in partner with MKEWP, has led the planning and advocacy effort for construction of the common intake through the national media ( Media Advocacy,) community engagement meetings and stakeholder forums.
The Project has also supported the Mutara WRUA to undertake the studies and surveys necessary for the acquisition of the permit to construct a common intake. These include:
- Feasibility assessment of the common intake
- Topographic assessment of pipeline system
- Design of the common intake and development of Bill Of Quantities( BOQs)
- Technical assessment report
The Mutara Common Intake Water Project is a gravity supply system designed to serve community members in Mutara Sub Catchment through established water user groups. The Project will be located in Wiyumiririe sub-location of Ngobit Location, in Lamuria Division, of Laikipia County. The proposed supply areas for the common intake are within Ndaragwa Ward in Nyandarua County, and Salama Sosian Ward in Laikipia County.
The common intake will supply water to 13 community-based water projects of which 4 have existing irrigation pipelines without water use permits. The other 6 projects are proposed water supply schemes with existing EIAs and Hydrological Assessment Reports but with no authorization for construction works.
The Project is designed to supply domestic and livestock water to approximately 20,000 people within the Mutara sub-catchment.
Ms. Juliana Ng’eno, Water Resources Authority Sub Regional Manager, emphasized the importance of having the common intake in place as it would go a long way in restoring the integrity of rivers in the region. She urged all community members of Mutara to take ownership to ensure that the rivers flows continuously, as no life can do without water. She added that dire consequences would befall anyone found guilty of degrading the environment.
There was a unanimous appeal from all stakeholders present to ALL members of Mutara sub-catchment to ensure that they embrace domestic water harvesting technologies, rather than remain dependent on the river as a source of irrigation water for their farms.
This initiative is supported by the ‘Cattle, Water and Wildlife: Enhancing Socio-ecological Resilience in Laikipia Project funded by the Darwin
The Project’s key outcome is to secure the 8000ha of Mutara Ranch as a dispersal area for wildlife with grazing and water resources managed for the local community and pastoralist well-being that leads to reduced resource conflict across the wider landscape.
The Project is implemented byFauna and Flora International, ol pejeta conservancy and the laikipia Forum , The Forum supports delivery of field based operations for water management activities through the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) to ensure integration with landscape-level activities.