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KNOW YOUR WRUAs: Ngusishi Water Resources Users Association

NGUSISHI WRUA representative is elated while receiving the Maji Performance Award for overall Best WRUA countrywide from KEWASNET CEO Mr. Samson Shivaji and Kenya’s Deputy President Hon.William Ruto.

Ngusishi WRUA has continuously demonstrated the viability of the WRUA concept, with financial, institutional, environmental and technological sustainability. The common intake approach employed by the WRUA to solve severe water conflicts in a small sub basin has clear benefits that can be attested to by its members and all stakeholders.

88% of water conflicts in Ngusishi have been resolved amicably as a result of the good governance exhibited by Ngusishi Water Resources Users Association. Due to this, the WRUA that is registered with the Registrar of Societies under section 10 of the Societies Act as an Association, has as well managed to build a common intake that has enabled all members get water equally and thus ensuring that Ngusishi River continues to flow even during the dry spells.

The Association has its foundation as a registered Self-Help Group with the Gender, Culture and Social Services in 1998 (registration No. 183/98) and registration as an Association in 2003.

The WRUA is an umbrella organization of 16 registered members that include seven community water projects and nine privately owned commercial farms. Its sub-catchment lies in the leeward side of Mount Kenya within Ewaso Ngiro North Catchment area (ENNCA) that contributes to Ewaso Ngiro River.

Ngusishi WRUA covers an average area of 104km2 and this area relies on the tiny Ngusishi River which comprises of three main springs namely: Kabeere springs, Muthuri springs and Batian springs.The springs produce an average of 69 ltrs/sec.  70% of the flow is equally shared among all the members and 30% is left for peoples, biodiversity and wild animals downstream.

The WRUA often conducts a house-to-house census and as per their most recent count, the area had a total of 831 households with a population of over 10,900 people and 15,000 livestock excluding the wildlife.

The good relationship between the community, stakeholders and the government has enabled the WRUA get facilitation for water development projects such as water pans which have been constructed at household level, using efficient method of irrigation, accessing water quality by conducting pollution survey and more surveys have been conducted for water storage dams.

The WRUA continues to work closely with Laikipia Wildlife Forum and Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership in the efforts to manage and protect the catchment. Laikipia Wildlife Forum for instance supported the review of the WRUAs’ sub-catchment management plan and has severally used the WRUA as a benchmark and a case study for good governance.

One of the reasons why the WRUA continues to be the best in the country, and in the region, is its well-structured governance and outreach policies. These give priority to the vulnerable members and Institutions within the catchment through donations e.g. in supplying the rain water harvesting equipment, dam liners, drip kits, and trainings on kitchen gardening.

The association has been providing irrigation water to its members and are currently working on designs for two dams for irrigation at a cost of 20 Million and 80Million.

These costs cannot be met by the Association and therefore they are looking for funding from either the Government or Donors. With the construction of these two dams, the association will be able to eradicate poverty among its members through improved water management, agricultural production, and conservation.

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