Catchment Rehabilitation for Biodiversity Conservation and Water Availability in Ewaso Nyiro Basin
Catchment Rehabilitation for Biodiversity Conservation and Water Availability in Ewaso Nyiro Basin
NOWSUD will promote conservation of the Ewaso Nyiro basin by reducing pressure on the natural resources and providing farmers with alternative means of generating income such as gum arabic harvesting, bee keeping and fruit tree planting.

Rationale of the Project
The Mt. Kenya sub-catchment of the Ewaso Ng’iro North River basin provides over 80% of the river flow at Archer’s post in the dry season (Decurtins, 1992) and it’s the only hope for guaranteeing availability of the residual flow of 5m3/sec necessary to maintain a permanent flow past Archers‘ Post. In spite of this requirement, waters of the Mt. Kenya tributaries of Ewaso Ng’iro North River have been tapped extensively to supply water to rural and urban settlements, small scale irrigation by small holder settlers and lately, to support commercial horticulture for the local and export market. An analysis of water demand patterns for the Mt. Kenya sub-catchment between Naro Moru and Timau using baseline data for 1980’s (Decurtins, 1992) revealed that, the reliable safe yield was only adequate to support domestic and livestock water needs but inadequate to develop the local irrigation potential. This not withstanding, irrigation has been widely adopted to the extent that, by 1986, over 40% of waters from the Mt. Kenya sub-catchments were used between the forest and upper edge of the Savannah region.

It is claimed that, in the dry season, more than 50% of water is removed from the river before it reaches the arid lowlands. (Gathenya, 1992; Liniger, 1992) in abstractions of which 90% are illegal (Liniger, 1995). Per capita water abstraction in the Laikipia plateau stands at 200 to 1000 litres per day, which is among the highest in Kenya (JICA, 1991).

The arid conditions in the lower belt means that the ecosystem is fragile while socio-economic potential is extremely limited. The only viable option is pastoralism, in response to the ecosystem. The pastoralists have evolved movement patterns in response to the cyclic seasonal deficits in pasture. These movements are in essence synchronized with seasonal flow patterns flow of the Ewaso Ng’iro North River

The execution of the proposed project seeks to reverse the trend described above through initiating and sustaining land use practices that will result in the conservation of the diversified natural resources existing in the Ewaso Nyiro catchment, including the Mt. Kenya Forest and the riparian land of the various rivers that traverse the basin. The project will serve as a prelude to long term projection, protection and sustainable utilization of natural resources, which is vital for water catchments and river banks development.

The project recognizes the close relationship between vegetation cover and water. Lack of water leads to poor cover, while lack of cover leads to loss of water as run off. As such the project will seek to adopting strategies that improve infiltration, control run off and reduce wastage of the available water. These are critical for productive and sustainable land use in the both in the upper highland areas and the low laying ASALs. Protection, conservation and sound management of water catchments, springs and the riparian zone is critical for both environmental and economic sustainability.

Site specific activities such as afforestation inside Mt. Kenya Forest forestry will promote tree growing activities which is critical for protecting forests and riparian vegetation which is critical for catchment conservation.
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Project Snapshot

Nomadic Women for Sustainable Development
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 34,471.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 22,987.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
Several trainings will be conducted on the following topics; 1) farrow farming to promote soil conservation 2) resource management for 20 community leaders including provincial administration
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
Teh project strives to relieve pressure of the indigenous forests of Mt. kenya as well as the riverine catchment of Ewaso nyiro river. this will be achieved by assisting the community groups to establish/expand IGAs, notably gum collection and processing, and farm forestry.
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Grantee Contact

Phone: 0721134330


P.O. Box 286
Isiolo ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Nancy Chege
(254-20) 7624473
(254-20) 621076
Ms. Salome Nyakundi


UNDP, P.O. Box 30218
Nairobi, 00100