Water Availability Changes in Yatta Canal and Its Impacts on Livelihoods in Yatta Sub-county, Machakos County
Sila, Agnes N
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Out of every 10 people in Africa, 2 do not have access to safe water supply, while 4 in every 10 people do not have access to basic sanitary services. With only 0.3% of the world’s waters accessible as fresh water, rise in population has led to increased demand for this precious resource. This study sort to investigate how this demand among other factors, also investigated and discussed, led to change in water availability in the Yatta Canal. The research also sought to determine how changes in water availability in Yatta Canal do affect the livelihoods of communities of Yatta Sub County. The specific area of study is Kithimani Ward, within Yatta Sub County where Yatta Canal is located. Yatta Canal get its water from Thika River and drains into Mwitasyano River. The researcher relied on both primary and secondary data collected from the field and desktop research respectively. Methods of primary data collection included questionnaires administration, photography, interview and observation. A sample of 90 respondents obtained using Nasuirma model (2000) was interrogated using questionnaires. Secondary data was collected through internet searches, interactions with books on the subject matter and demographic data was obtained from existing census reports. Collected data was analyzed using one-away ANOVA, Duncan New Multiple Range Test and Correlation analysis. The results of data analysis and projections were presented in graphs, charts and tables. The study results showed average water consumption per household of 600 litres a day. The study results further showed that seasonal variations on water availability from Yatta Canal (and other different sources) were recorded in Yatta Canal basin with 95.6% of the households in Yatta having poor access to water. The burden of fetching water relied disproportionately more on female child and female adult compared to their male counterparts. The study also established that 76.67% of the community residents along Yatta Canal belong to the poor socio-economic status. A positive correlation (r=0.811 for human factors, r=0.774 for natural factors and r=0.638 for stakeholder involvement) was established between these water changes contributors and livelihoods of the rural households along Yatta Canal. Lastly, there is poor participation of various stakeholders (residents, CBOs, NGOs, and Donor Agencies) apart from the government in water management decisions among the rural communities along Yatta Canal. However, the t-test statistic showed no significant difference existing between mean values of both male and female respondents (p=.186). The study concluded that the livelihoods of the rural communities living along the Yatta canal was adversely affected by extreme variability in water availability in the canal and that interventions by the government in water management and poverty reduction in Yatta canal had not been effective. The study recommends that the people living in Yatta Ward should find alternative sources of water since relying on the Yatta canal is not sustainable as the canal is not sufficient to satisfy their demand of water for both domestic and agricultural purposes.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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