Water resource management in upper Ewaso Ng'iro North catchment Strategies for actor collaboration
The Ewaso Ng'iro River basin, the largest of the six basins in Kenya suffers from water scarcity. Rainfall is low and unreliable and poorly distributed. The basin consists of both arable and arid lands but arid zone occupies the largest portion. The poor water management both at local and institutional levels are due to uncoordinated activities resulting in conflicts among water users on one hand and water managers on the other. The paper analyses the roles of the different water actors, their areas of collaboration, and possible conflicts. It also addresses the legal aspects of water and their shortcomings. The study found out that there are very many institutions engaged in water management; and each of these institutions have their respective laws governing their operations. The laws governing their operation are scattered in several Acts of Parliament, giving responsibilities to several actors thereby making it difficult for an actor to perform effectively without the others. In addition, the Institutions perform functions, which are related but they do not collaborate. Apart from the institutional and the legal framework, there are other factors that influence water management namely increasing population, Increasing economic activities, land use changes, and household perceptions. The study concluded that the uncoordinated nature of the various institutions in Upper Ewaso Ng'iro North catchment, their approaches to water management and perceptions cannot ensure sustainable water resource management. The conflicting water related laws worsen the situation.