An Overview Of Our Solution
MKEWP is a public private partnership established in 2016 as a platform for collective action in addressing water security in Ewaso Ngi’ro North Basin (ENNB). ENNB is the largest of the 6 basin areas in Kenya and covers 36% of the total area. MKEWP brings together key stakeholder groups including 5 Counties, commercial growers, local water resource users groups (the WRUAs), conservancies and that national government agencies to improve water security and governance for Integrated Water Resources Management. The Partnership is governed by 17 Council members through its charter. The membership has appointed Laikipia Wildlife Forum, a credible non-profit institution with 25 years of experience in membership and grant management for international and national donors, as its secretariat. MKEWP is guided by a 5 year strategic plan.
- Population Impacted: 2,000,000
- Continent: Africa
Conflicts in the Ewaso Basin are common and they have arisen due to a number of reasons such as ethnicity, climate change, influx in human populations and pollution. But the main cause of frequent water related conflicts is by far water scarcity attributed to climate change/frequent droughts and is characterized by conflicts between upstream and downstream water users due to over abstraction of water for irrigation, pollution of water and inadequate waste disposal infrastructure. The riparian has been encroached and degraded. Disposal of pesticides has increased chemical pollution of rivers, plus undesignated washing and watering points by pastoralist. MKEWP provides an effective platform for coordinated stakeholder engagement to address the challenges of managing water as a resource within the ENBB. MKEWP provides a platform for dialogue, collective action & advocacy and capacity development in order to address the identified challenges.
Describe the technical solution you wanted the target audience to adopt
we will work with grassroot organisations dealing with water (WRUAs).
Introduction of alternative crops along riparian such as fodder crops, water friendly trees for fuel, wood harvesting, bee keeping/honey harvesting and fruit harvesting. This will create a buffer zone to stop pollution.
Train the communities on the effects of using chemical pesticides and fertilizers on the ecosystem and human health, use of organic manure and separation of wastes at the farm level.
Introduction of dry pit latrines-have 3 samples.
Organize youths with WRUAs to manage specific areas of the riparian as stewards.
Help WRUAs to lobby to the governments for proper siting of dumpsites.
Lobby through communities to separate watering points for their animals.
Reinstate the health of the rivers to the point of reintroduction of trouts and tilapia fish.
To turn the riparian area to be a recreational site by lobbying to the owners and government.
Describe your behavioral intervention.
Organize interactive training and sensitization for the community to enable them adopt the right attitudes towards conservation and management of water and environment resources.
Engage early adopters and influencers to lead the conservation initiatives. The early adopters will be championed as lead agents and profiled for awards.
Offer incentives through the projects that the communities will benefit from directly. E.g. the tree planting initiatives will have benefits of providing alternative income sources for the community and youth groups involved. The riparian land owners will benefit from the alternative use of land. introduction of fruit trees will have economic gains to them.The youths and grassroots organisations can make use of the public land to carry out their eco-friendly economic activities.
The organised groups charged with the responsibilities of specific areas will create a sense of ownership and hence protect the resources.
Organize training programs aimed at nursery school children to adopt the right attitudes to the environment. Create programs within schools for training of environmental conservation.
Training community on waste separation at the source. Introduce waste receptacles at designated points
Engage government agencies at both the county and national levels and the community to collectively address pollution challenges.
Introduce and adopt punitive measures to enforce rules and regulations formulated by the community
Behavioral Levers Utilized
As needed, please explain how you utilized the lever(s) in more detail.
The various training programs on all the levels of the community will ensure that they have the correct information to make informed decisions.
Introducing competitions among various community groups will ensure sustainability of maintaining good standards.
Ownership of sections of the riparian will motivate the various groups to adopt and practice economic activities that will protect the environment and give them monetary benefits.
The rules and regulations will be community formulated and adopted and will apply to all members of the community and external users of the facilities. The rules and regulations will be displayed distinctively for all to see.
Waste separation and orderliness within the riparian will influence the user to use it correctly .
Describe your implementation
Our implementation plan will be based on the 3 zones identified.
1. UPPER ZONE
Identify various groups ( women, youth and community) and sensitize them on the importance of pollution and the benefits of a healthy environment. The training will be based on their current attitudes towards waste disposal, handling of farm chemicals and the importance of organic farming which will cut their farming costs. Introduce alternative plants along the riparian to be used as buffer zones to stop pollution of the rivers and their economic gains. Introduction of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse&recycle) strategy. Train them on good hygiene through proper waste disposal to enhance their health. Introduce the need to drink potable water to reduce water borne diseases. Introduce harvesting of excess water for irrigation through introduction of water pans.
They have similar problems like the upper zones with additional challenges with the peri-urban and urban settings. Work with WRUAs and agree on the stewardship of specific sections of the riverine basin. Allocate each group a designated section and train them on the 3Rs. Involve various government agents for inclusivity. Introduce sanitation blocks and disposal bins at various strategic points. Build recreational seats and maintenance programs for the recreational areas. Lobby to the government to remove and relocate informal sector activities i.e garage, car wash, etc away from the riparian. Introduce fishing within this section of the river as a sport.
3. LOWER ZONE
Introduce water storage infrastructure to ensure they have adequate water e.g. through building sand dams. Lobby the County government to construct separate watering points for humans, domestic animals and wild animals.Introduction of water friendly trees along the riparian to act as buffer zones and an alternative source of economic activity through bee keeping, controlled wood harvesting and alternative source of energy i.e bio-gas
Describe the leadership for your solution. Who is leading the implementation?
The program will be steer headed by MKEWP and the implementors will be various members and groups of Water Resource Associations Users groups (WRUAs). The county governments and various national government agencies will provide the required expertise and be collaborators during implementation. This will give ownership and acceptance of the project by various community structures.
Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) is an organisation umbrella body for various natural resource conservation initiatives. MKEWP is a member of the LWF and uses LWF as its secretariat. This arrangement brings various actors in the basin for the benefit of MKEWP.
Share some of the key partners or stakeholders engaged in your solution development and implementation.
MKEWP is a public private partnership and it has various membership groups comprised of WRUAs, Community Water Projects, 5 county governments, 6 conservancies, various government agencies (i.e Kenya wildlife service, Kenya Forest Service, National Environmental Agency, Water Resource Authority, Community Forest Associations), non profit organisations, research organisations and Commercial farmers within the basin.
These groups involve every organisations within the community including religious groups.
MKEWP coordinates all water related activities undertaken within the basin by various groups, donors and civil society organisations to minimize duplication of efforts.
MKEWP collaborates with all the Water and Sanitation Companies within the basin who are responsible for waste water collection and treatment.
MKEWP also works with various county environment departments for garbage collection and disposal within the basin.
In enforcement of pollution and abstraction, MKEWP collaborates with Water Resource Authority (the lead agency in water resource management).
MKEWP works through the WRUAs in budgetary planning within the counties to ensure adequate allocation of funds towards water. This is through development of County Integrated Development Plans and Annual Development Plans.
Who adopted the desired behavior(s) and to what degree? Include an explanation of how you measured a change in behavior.
All the riparian land users, the county governments, enforcement plans through various government agencies, communities within the basin, community water projects, Water Resource Users Associations as they implement their Sub catchment management plans.
A change in behavior within the small scale farmers through their handling of agricultural chemicals through storage and use of protective clothes. The small scale farmers adopting the use of organic manure and waste separation at source.
Improved littering attitudes from within homesteads to the urban centers.
Hand washing habits especially after attending toilets and members of the community speaking out to those who litter and pollute the river systems.
Improved canopies of trees/vegetation along the riverines.
How did you impact water pollution? Please be specific and include measurement methodology where relevant.
At the beginning of the project we will do a baseline survey on the quality of water in various sections of the river. Once the project is on we will continuously monitor the improvement in the quality of water. Reduction of soil load caused by degradation of the catchment and the riparian. Attitude change will ensure that the community does not litter or release raw waste to the rivers. The various government agencies are active in enforcing laws relating to disposal waste, encroachment, wanton destruction of trees along the riparian. Plans by the Water and Sanitation Companies within the counties to dispose off liquid waste appropriately by provision of sewerage and on site waste treatment arrangements.
How has your solution impacted equity challenges (including race, gender, ethnicity, social class/income, or others)?
MKEWP has been advocating through their partners, WRUAs, CWPs to have inclusivity in the management and involvement with all the people within the basin.
MKEWP has advocated through these organisations to have voices listened to in the management of water. In doing so, MKEWP will involve all members of the society to have their say and where special requirements are needed to facilitate the challenged within the society.
Special needs and designs for infrastructure to be used by everyone is and will be lobbied to various government agencies. Access to the watering points for the physically challenged will be enhanced to cater for their special needs. Recreation areas along the rivers cater for all users without discrimination and discomfort.
What were some social and/or community co-benefits?
Having a clean environment and pollution free water resource sources will mean cheaper treatment costs for both the rural and urban areas.
With no pollution, people will enjoy portable and disease free water and environment. This will translate to reduction in medical bills and loss of active man hours during hospitalization.
A clean environment creates a socially acceptable and peaceful environment.
What were some environmental co-benefits?
Improved ecosystem for both human and other organisms. A clean water system will support the return of trout and tilapia fish which were thriving in our rivers 15 years ago. With improved environment will mitigate climate change through provision of carbon sinks along the rivers. This will also create pathways for migratory birds, animals and insects to and fro the forests.
What were some sustainable development co-benefits?
By the reduction of pollution along the rivers will create an ecosystem that sustains the recharge of the river systems when it rains and will maintain steady flows of water through the rivers after the rains. Currently we have flush floods which degrade the river systems due to adequate catchment protection.
With reduction of pollution the cost of water treatment is reduced significantly. This makes water available for use by humans.
Sustainability: Describe the economic sustainability of your solution.
Resources are required initially but once the community adopts the good habits it will be engraved in their system and will be part of their lifestyle costing very little.
Once the communities adopt these behavioral change, sustaining it will require very little costs to the local organisations (WRUAs) responsible for water resource management.
Return on investment: How much did it cost to implement these activities? How do your results above compare to this investment?
We are requesting for USD 100,000 to implement this project among 5 counties. The cost of healthy rivers and the environment created out of this action cannot be quantified. The long term effect of impacting good practices from nursery school children to adults is value for money.
The reduction of water borne diseases and cancers through polluted water and environment is a huge benefit to the inhabitants of the basin.
This action will increase adequate clean water to downstream animals and humans hence reducing water related conflicts that are eminent currently. Water related conflicts between wild animals and humans will be reduced.
How could we successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?
The Upper Ewaso Nyiro has 30 rivers. This project will cover only 5 rivers with the characteristics shown in the Upper, Middle and Lower zones. The total requirement for this is USD 100,000.
To upscale it to the remaining 25 rivers, MKEWP will need USD 1,000,000 to cover the whole Upper Ewaso Nyiro basin. The same model will be applicable to all the rivers.The extra money will be needed to the needy lower areas that lack storage facilities and are prone to less water because of agricultural activities in the upper zones. Mitigation actions on the environment in this area is wanting.
The first 5 needs includes training materials and labor costs to realize this project. If the first five is successful, the remaining 25 can be done in phases as we learn continuously from the first pilot.