Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips

Thursday, 23 April 2015

WRMA striving to regulate and manage water resources

By Bob Aston
The water resources in most parts of Laikipia County are under severe threats due to the effects of climate change. Illegal abstraction, catchment and water quality degradation are some of the threats facing water resources in the County. These threats have also affected the wider environment within the ecosystem. Wetlands have reduced in size and lost biodiversity while others have become seasonal.
In order to address some of these challenges, the Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) was established under the Water Act 2002 and charged with being the lead agency in water resources management.
The Laikipia West WRMA office which is situated in Rumuruti falls under the Engare Narok Melghis Sub Region. The sub region covers a total area of 10,857 square kilometres. Already 17 out of the 30 delineated Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) are operating in the sub region.
Community members from Sipili drawing water from a borehole
The sub region falls under the Ewaso Ngiro North Catchment Area (ENNCA) which covers an area of 210,226 square kilometres. With mean annual rainfall ranging from over 800 mm in the highlands to less than 400 mm in the ASAL areas, the catchment is considered water scarce as it has a per capita water availability of 274m3/yr.
WRMA recognizes that the allocation of water has generated much conflict between farming communities located in the upper zones of the rivers and the pastoral groups in the lower sections.
WRMA has already managed to establish the preliminary water balance to enable it to manage and account for water resources effectively in the sub region. The water balance ideally compares the available water against the demand and establishes areas with deficit or surplus, which is vital for realistic equitable allocation.
The Water Act 2002 provides for decentralized and participatory approach to water resources management. The WRMA Engare Narok Melghis Sub Region has ensured that there are participatory approaches for different stakeholders to contribute to water resources management.
Some of the strategic objectives that WRMA is currently pursuing include; improving the use of water resources management tools for effective water resources planning and allocation, strengthening stakeholder collaboration to enhance water storage and adaptation to climate change impacts and to strengthen use of water resources management tools and collaboration for effective catchment protection and conservation.
WRMA is also keen on conservation of riparian land which has been addressed through Water Resource Management (WRM) rules 2007.
Various activities have been proscribed on riparian land that include; tillage or cultivation, clearing of indigenous trees or vegetation, building of permanent structures, disposal of any form of waste within the riparian land, excavation of soil or development of quarries, planting of exotic species that may have adverse effect to the water resource or any other activity that may degrade the water resource.
They have also been identifying mapping and assessing site specific catchments like springs and micro catchments like hilltops and swamps. They have also been encouraging Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) from the sub region to establish tree nurseries and to involve themselves in afforestation and reaforestation.
WRMA has been trying to ensure that they effectively regulate and manage water resources in collaboration with stakeholders like WRUAs for sustainable development. They have also been building capacities of Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs) and WRUAs to respond to new opportunities by skill improvement in Water Resource Management.
WRMA recognizes that riparian reserve is important to the water resources because it reduces runoff and soil erosion from going directly into the water course and it also acts as a buffer zone to trap the runoff water and soil erosion.
Post a Comment