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Loiragai Spring – Life Support System

Collecting primary data at Loiragai Spring for the hydrological report

How much does water figure in Human Elephant Conflict in Laikipia?  Based on the evidence, a lot of conflict with elephants and people occurs around water sources. Whether by accident, or in competition for water, it’s not always easy for elephants to mix with people’s livelihoods.

The Forum, in partnership with Il Ngwesi Conservancy and ILMAMUSI CFA, is implementing a project to reduce the occurrence of Human-Elephant Conflict around Mukogodo Forest through spring protection.

Il Ngwesi Conservancy submitted a proposal to the CFA and LWF for the rehabilitation of Loiragai Spring water pipeline that supplies domestic, livestock, and wildlife water inside Il Ngwesi Conservancy.

The Project takes water from a spring located inside Borana Conservancy to multiple down-stream users over a distance of almost 10 km. The original system was constructed in 1984.

None of the partners, or the regional Water Resources Authority have any record of the design, the original needs assessment, and the permit that should accompany water projects.  Therefore to support the rehabilitation works, LWF with the assistance of MKEWP, ILMAMUSI CFA, and Il Ngwesi Conservancy, have agreed on the following milestones to overhaul the water works.

In true partnership fashion Il Ngwesi Conservancy allocated funds to support the hydrological assessment. The assessment gives a snapshot of  the quality and quantity of the water, and the different types and numbers of users.  The hydrological assessment report forms part of the application for water system renovation and  authorization from the WRA.

Emerging Issues

a) The Loiragai Water Project Committee has limited understanding of the water sector policy and  institutional set up provided for in the new Water Act 2016. MKEWP will help them learn about effective water system management and collaboration with other sector players.

b) There is a need to formulate a local water use policy to ensure sustainability, avoid conflicts with outside users and wildlife, and to allow for controlled growth. Formalizing the structure and operations of the water committee will help ensure better management and provide the legitimacy needed to allow the Committee to fundraise for further development.

c) There is a need to install water meters to monitor the various water consumption at various water points along the system This includes installing a water meter at the livestock water point, at the wildlife water point, and the various water points for domestic use. Monitoring these various points is essential to the project management to inform costs for operations and maintenance, and any possible water fees payments in the future.

d ) Disney will help with the installation of camera traps at key water use sites to record the frequency of use of the different water points by livestock, community members and wildlife. This information will form part of the CFA rangers’ responsibilities and monitoring efforts.

 Stay tuned for updates!

This project is supported by ILMAMUSI and ILNGWESI partners and includes Disney Conservation Fund/WCS, Borana and Lewa Conservancies, and the Laikipia Forum.

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