WRUAs Capacity Building in The Tsavo

Encroachment of Kimana wetland, Tsavo catchment

The Tsavo river catchment is trans-boundary between Kenya and Tanzania, lying in the south-western corner of Kenya below Mt. Kilimanjaro. The area is generally semi-arid and dependent on erratic rainfall patterns that falls mostly in the upper catchments. But the Tsavo catchment is also degraded. This is due to expansion of agriculture and human settlements on the upper catchments, while reduced grazing space has resulted overgrazing and denudation of vegetation in the lower areas. Pouching, including game meat hunting, has decimated the wildlife, while water resources have reduced, anwildlife faces competition from over grazing and human encroachment.  

Illegal water abstraction –Kimana River

Based on these observations, JKUAT’s WARREC in collaboration with the Water Resources Management Authority’s (WRMA), Tsavo Sub-Regional Office, Ministry of Agriculture and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) together implemented training of WRUAs in the Tsavo river catchment, accompanied by a rapid rural appraisal. The initiative was co-financed by the World Wide Fund – Education for Nature ((WWF-EFN) of USA and JKUAT. The training was held in April 2014 in Loitokitok, Kajiado County. This helped build the capacity of WRUAs and their stakeholders in Tsavo catchment on integrated water resource management (IWRM). 

Workshop participants on field assessment of Kimana wetland in Tsavo river catchment

A follow up mission implemented in October 2014 found that the project had succeeded in stimulating action by the WRUA leaders. It ha achieved community sensitization, conflict resolution on water resource management, stimulating; (i) enforcement of by-laws to prevent pollution of rivers, (ii) processing the gazettement of wetlands (by WRMA), (iii) reviewing WRUA sub-catchment management plans (SCMPs) (iv) processing of applications by WRUAs to Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF) for funding, (v) water source protection activities, and (vi) campaigns to reduce charcoal burning.