Water is essential to human survival, and part of the solution to combating climate change. It is also the primary medium through which communities feel the impacts of climate change. Tana River County is susceptible to impacts of climate change such as intense droughts and floods. This, coupled with pollution and biodiversity loss, makes sustainable utilisation and conservation of shared water ecosystems critical for survival. However, pollution, human encroachment, and soil erosion threaten the sustainable management and conservation of shared water ecosystems in the County. A study conducted by Econews Africa examines the state of management and conservation of shared water ecosystems in the county. It highlights the gaps and challenges, and proposes possible policy actions for the attainment of sustainable water resource management and conservation in the County.
The findings of this study are crucial in demonstrating the state of water management and conservation in the County, and equipping decision-makers with the necessary evidence to act. Key findings in summary are:
- The County enjoys water resources such as the Tana River and Athi river basins. The county has other seasonal rivers and lakes such as L. Nyota, L. Sahe, L. Mwanapokomo among others
- The quality and levels of water in the county are affected by pollution from human activities, siltation from soil erosion, deforestation among others
- There are shared water resource conflicts manifesting in terms of intercommunal conflict because those upstream are disrupting the flow and quality of water to the downstream
- It is recommended that there is need to strengthen community consciousness on the importance of shared water resources
- Community should be assisted to develop model management plans on specific streams or rivers
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