Mitigating Conflicts Over Scarce Water Resources in the Highland-Lowland System of Mount Kenya
Gichuki, Francis N
Kiteme, Boniface P
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The Mount Kenya region offers a great deal of beautiful scenery and attracts tourists from all over the world. What these tourists may not see, however, is the crucial function of Mount Kenya as a water tower for its footzones and adjoining lowland areas. This function is becoming ever more crucial, as populations in these areas are growing at a rapid pace and new land use systems require far more water. These developments have set the stage for increasing conflicts over water resources; to make things worse, water is becoming ever scarcer, especially in the dry areas of the Laikipia Plateau and the Samburu Plains to the north and west of the mountain. This article summarizes the complex ecological and socioeconomic dynamics prevailing in the highland-Blowland system of Mount Kenya—the Ewaso Ng'iro North Basin—and presents a multilevel strategy for mitigating the emerging conflicts over water resources.