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Sh289 million allocated to enhance water resources management

An umbrella of Water Users’ Association within Lake Naivasha Basin has committed a total of Sh289 million to be used to enhance sustainable water use and address the emerging challenges in water resources management within a five-year strategic plan covering 2022 -2027.

Lake Naivasha Basin Umbrella Water Resources Users Association (LANABWRUA) seeks to ensure sustainability in utilization of water resources to be in line with the government vision 2030 on increasing accessibility to clean and quality water to all citizens.

The basin which lies within three counties of Nakuru, Nyandarua and Narok hosts Lake Naivasha as its unique water wetland of international importance that supports key social economic activities including flower farms, geothermal power generation, and tourism and service industry.

Speaking during its launching, the Basin Area Coordinator, David Mumo, said through the plan, the association will address four thematic areas of concern including water resource management and governance, environmental issues, infrastructure development in the basin and monitoring and enforcement of relevant laws.

Mumo said there have been an increase in unregulated water abstraction for agriculture and commercial use, which is affecting water flow from the upper catchment areas into Lake Naivasha causing water use conflicts.

Through these emerging issues, they will seek to undertake an environmental water flow assessment for a broad understanding on its impact on marine life, habitat and the aquatic effects on downstream users including Lake Naivasha.

“We will lobby for policies and legislations on water conservation, water harvesting and recycling to reduce water pressure on the rivers and the lake,” notes the plan.

On increased incidences of riparian land encroachment, Mumo said the association will embark on mapping riparian zones around rivers, open landfills, and lobby the relevant government agencies to take action on trespassers to ensure protection of the crucial ecosystem.

According to Enoch Kiminta, Chair of Water Users Association, the organization will engage the government and community leaders in undertaking joint monitoring and enforcement to ensure there is full compliance in water abstractions and harvesting activities in the basin.

Through the strategic plan, the organization will also seek to lobby for training of police and judicial officers on environmental crimes so as to recommend necessary legal actions are taken to the culprits.

He said there is need to ensure necessary environmental impacts to water courses are undertaken through comprehensive consultations so as to ease pressure on water resources highlighting key water reliance infrastructural development within the basin, including the Naivasha Inland Depot and the construction of the Rironi – Mau Summit Road.

Consequently, Kiminta added that the organization will also engage county governments to upgrade the sewerage systems in the basin, noting that most are outdated and lack the capacity to handle increased urban growth leading to spillage and contamination of water courses.

By Erastus Gichohi and Esther Mwangi


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