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Water Challenges and Solutions in the Upper Ewaso Basin

The documentary ‘Water and Resilience’ was developed by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) with support from various stakeholders from WRUAs, Community Water Projects, WRA, County Governments, Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network among others. Cordaid and Partners for Resilience were the main implementing partners.

The documentary highlights efforts that MKEWP is putting to promote and advocate for protection and restoration of healthy riverine ecosystems  and water security within the Ewaso Basin through two innovative ways:-

  1. WRUA Service Agreement (WSA) – A proposed performance based contract between the WRUAs and the WRA. The agreement provides financial compensation for the functions performed by the WRUA, and thus gives the WRUA the financial resources to carry out their duties. WSA clarifies and structures the relationship between WRA and the WRUAs in terms of regulation and management of water resources. The WRUA becomes the true eyes and ears of the WRA and the action arm of county governments’ riparian responsibilities. It helps the WRA through the regular monitoring of river flows, data collection on legal and illegal abstraction, and it helps the county government in monitoring and managing the degradation of riparian areas and water pollution. This Agreement provides the incentive and means for WRUAs to take up their roles with responsibility and accountability – a WIN-WIN for water, catchments, and citizens in Kenya.
  2. EWASO MAJI USERS SACCO (EMU SACCO) – A community based financier that supports farmers to access finances for household level investments in water harvesting, storage and efficient use. The Sacco encourages water users to be self-reliant and to invest in on-farm and community water conservation infrastructure.

In a period of globally increasing human population, agricultural expansion, infrastructure development, and climate change, water resources in many contexts are becoming scarce, polluted, and contested. Water users, including communities, livestock &wildlife the public sector, and corporate entities, both upstream and downstream, often lack a shared understanding of the threats facing a particular river system and fail to effectively collaborate around integrated water resources management. This is leading to conflict and an escalation of the threats facing river systems.

There are now many initiatives across the world to promote learning, cooperation and unity between water users. MKEWP is a unique example that captures the concerns of many stakeholders regarding the current and future status of the shared water resources in the Ewaso Basin. MKEWP aims through collective efforts to bring about a brighter future in which the water resources are shared, used and conserved in a manner that supports economic and social development while ensuring the integrity of the environment.

Link to the documentary

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