“The Water and Environmental conversation must start by us accepting that we must play a role in ensuring that our environment is protected. Without ownership and working in partnerships, every effort that we make towards environmental conservation and protection will remain futile.”
Mr. Muriithi, Chair, Ngusishi WRUA
Seven WRUAs are among a pilot demonstrating that our communities and farmers accept the value of locally managed water and are willing to pay for the services that support local water management and control.
The seven WRUAs – Ngusishi, Naro Moru, Isiolo, Likii, Ngare Ndare, Ngare Nything and Teleswani WRUA have been working to strengthen their institutional and financial capabilities. Through better governance, paid staff, greater public service, stronger water management, and more accurate abstraction information, water users are willing to pay for the benefits improved water management brings.
Ngusishi WRUA is a local, regional, and national leader in this regard. Their professional management and dedicated staff are fully paid for by local WRUA service fees, and they also pay the Water Resources Authority monthly based on accurate and regular abstraction data. Their annual budget for this service is more than KSH 3M, and the costs for 12 staff and their services are carried by the WRUA’s water users.
The success of their model stems from citizen ownership of the model, collective responsibility for water management shared by all members, and a system by which all people receiving water are members of the WRUA. Their meetings are held regularly, they visit all members on a regular basis, the secure the environmental flows of their river, and the control of the water source is the responsibility of the WRUA.
Theirs in a truly community-based natural resources management model.
MKEWP is helping the other 6 WRUAs to graduate to this model. The MKEWP pilot effort will inform policy and regulatory practices that must change to encourage stronger integrated water resource management in all 30 sub-catchments of the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro catchment. Improved WRUA functions means better water management, more accurate abstraction data, better enforcement of water rules, improved income generation, better riparian protection, and stronger pollution control, and ultimately better and more sustainable management for our rivers.
This pilot effort is supported by the World Bank, through 2030 WRG Kenya. It ended in June 2021. Another phase of support to more WRUAs is envisioned.
Members of these 7 WRUAs and the communities they represent all feel that the pilot programme had an immense impact on their activities. It has not only strengthened the finances of the WRUAs, but helped them become more professional in their roles as well.
The WID Project was supported by