Conservation of River Loboi-Koitegan catchment for efficient use of water resources, Cohesion and improved livelihoods of residents.
Conservation of River Loboi-Koitegan catchment for efficient use of water resources, Cohesion and improved livelihoods of residents.
The Lakes System within the Great Rift Valley contains a variety of geological and biological
topographies of outstanding natural exquisiteness. This includes falls, geysers, hot springs, open
waters and marshes, forests, and grasslands focused in a comparatively small area. There are
three inter-linked relatively shallow alkaline lakes - Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake
Elementaita - and their surrounding terrains. The natural setting of all three lakes surrounded by
the steep escarpment of the Rift Valley and associated volcanic features provides an exceptional
experience of nature.
The River Loboi-Koitegan catchment is one of the main sources of water to Lake Bogoria. This
catchment is wide and long and plays a critical role in the siltation of the Lake Bogoria. Lake
Bogoria National Reserve (LBNR), is known locally, nationally, and regionally for important
wildlife species, including the flamingo and the greater kudu. The Reserve has unique
physiographic features and geothermal manifestations due to its geological history (KOAN,
2018). There are more than two million lesser flamingoes and 350 bird species, especially along
the shores of the Lake Bogoria. It was designated as a National Reserve in 1974. In 2002, it was
listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Within the LBL, there is a wide range of biodiversity with about 210 plant species belonging to
53 plant families. Amongst these, are 38 species of Graminae and 15 of Acanthaceae. These
species are distributed in six broad vegetation types. These are; riverine forests, wooded bush
land, bushed thicket, bush land, bushed grassland and swamps. These are further described into
ten vegetation communities based on dominance. Dominant grasses include; Sporobolus ioclados,
Dactyolectenium aegyptium, Chloris virgata and Digitaria velutina. Shrubs include; Grewia
tenax, G. bicolor, Acalypha fruticosa and Acacia mellifera. The most dominant tree species is
Acacia tortilis. Other community types include mixtures of Balanites aegyptica, Combretum spp.,
Ficus spp., and Terminalia spp. Evergreen and semi deciduous bushland cover large areas along
stream valley and other inhospitable areas.
The distribution of the human population within the Landscape is typical to arid and semi-arid
lands. It is less dense, sparsely distributed and due to some reasons such as security it is
concentrated nearby the water sources, grazing areas and economic centres. Some of the places
where the population is denser includes the economic centres of Sandai, Majimoto, Kapkuikui
and Loboi. In this centers, the main economic activities part from businesses, it is farming of both
crop and livestock farming. However, some people are engaged in multiple activities like
farming, retailing and employed in the public sector. Within the landscape the largest employer is
the small farm sector such as the irrigated crop farming, charcoal production and bee keeping)
and livestock keeping. In general terms of labour, the majority of it is unskilled and semi-skilled
and is mainly engaged in small farm sector, livestock keeping and rural self-employment.
Livestock farming is mainly through the traditional nomadic pastoralism although some form of
sedentary systems is taking place. The increased population together with the change of the land
use to agriculture exerts pressure on resources specifically water. This is mainly from the
negative catchment wide processes that includes the intensive use of agrochemicals to boost
agricultural production leaving a trail of destruction to the aquatic biological resources.
Additionally, like other drylands, the LBL is at risk from degradation arising from unsustainable
exploitation and management of resources due to poverty, poor land use, overstocking and above
all unsustainable farming systems. This calls for wise management through conservation to
sustain the supply.
The water from Loboi-Koitegan catchment not only serves as a source of water for domestic
activities within and along the river catchment but also serves as water for the wild animals and
drains into Lake Bogoria where it supports lesser flamingos and other waterfowls that form the
main attraction of the reserve. The erosion and chemical leachates from the farmlands along the
river is of great significance to the survival and existence of the aquatic resources. Therefore, any
exertion aimed and geared towards the conservation of the catchment will assist in the
management of Lake Bogoria, adjacent wildlife conservation areas and many other livelihoods
within the LBL thereby a reduction on in land degradation. Further, conservation of Loboi-
Koitegan catchment will lead to reduced conflicts over water for irrigation, aid in the
conservation of the lake and lead to improved human well-being through enhanced socioeconomic
Within the LBL the land holding system are mainly communal land (trust lands) but land
adjudication is ongoing to facilitate private ownership. Communal land ownership comes with so
many challenges that area associated with the use of common resources. Currently land
adjudication and surveying has been going on and several land adjudication sections have been
established including Loboi, Sandai, Kapkuikui and Majimoto, which has allowed individual use
of the land thus allowing the diversification of agricultural production including crop production.
The situation is likely to add pressure to the existing and un-expandable resources such as land
and water leading to more degradation and impacts on the lake.
The LBL is classified as lowland in terms of agro-ecological zones with little rainfall and high
temperatures especially during the day. The land is used for animal grazing and furrow irrigation
agriculture. Areas where furrow irrigation is being practiced especially along Sugutek and Loboi,
there is intensive and unregulated use of agro-chemicals. This is main attributed to a higher
demand from agricultural activities and sometimes ignorance. The irrigated agriculture exerts
pronounced pressure on the water as a resource. However, crop failure is a common phenomenon
in both rain-fed agricultural and irrigation areas because of prolonged drought. A number of
small-scale irrigation schemes are widespread in the area that are served by both permanent and
seasonal rivers, streams and swamps. The main sources of rivers and streams include Perkerra
River, Waseges and Loboi-Koitegan. Therefore the conservation of the Loboi-Koitegan
catchment will not only provide water for domestic use but also irrigation especially during the
dry spell.
In this landscape, the keeping of livestock in a traditional system acts as a measure of wealth,
which unfortunately continue up to date as much as they have tremendous effects in the
environment. A few individuals, who have been subjected to trainings due to modernization and
drought resulting from unreliable rain patterns, are now selling their cattle for slaughter in
exchange for money and foodstuffs. The LBL is largely covered by irrigation channels
established in the 1960s to enhance agriculture in the area. However, this has exerted a lot of
pressure on the available water for other activities.
Under the 2016 Kenya’s Water Act, Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) are mandated
to carry out activities in the Sub-Catchment Management Plans for protection and conservation of
the water resource and surrounding ecosystems. Nonetheless, the Loboi-Koitegan Water
Resource Users Association (LKWRUA) is grappling with myriad challenges. They lack
knowledge and awareness among community membership as well as the WRUAs leadership. The
challenge related to lack of funding is critical to proper functioning of the WRUAs. This will
assist in solving conflict on water related issues as they are life threatening the WRUAs should be
supported and links strengthened to be able to solve conflicts in a peaceful manner. The WRUA
members as well as its leadership should undergo training on conflict resolution, and catchment
The conservation of the Loboi-Koitegan catchment will eventually promote sustainable
livelihoods, create new socio-economic opportunities while harnessing existing ones and
safeguard the conservation of the LBNR and its environs. The proposed conservation activities
will take place within the LBL at Loboi-Koitegan catchment at Majimoto area. Despite its
importance, this catchment still faces many threats from unsustainable anthropogenic activities,
population pressure and climate change leading to vegetation depletion and ecological system
degradation, siltation of the lake and endangering of the aquatic biological resources.
The Loboi-Koitegan WRUA (LKWRUA) is registered at Maji Moto trading Centre, has its
registration office in Baringo county and it covers the upper, middle and lower river basin of
Lake Bogoria. This WRUA is found in the greater Baringo Bogoria basin which is characterized
by Miocene lava mainly basalts, phonolites and Pliocene to recent sediment and superficial
deposits of volcanic soil such as alluvium and lacustrine silts.
The terrain is characterized by extensive faulting which form numerous N-S ridges and fault
scarps. The area is hilly, thorny, dry and rocky. A common place here is geothermal gradient
expressed by hot ground water and high temperatures. A geological study by Geothermal
Development Company estimated geothermal potential of 3000 MW within Bogoria complex.
The catchment drainage starts from Koitegan Hill in the southern upland of the upper river basin
of Bogoria and it joins Maji Moto River at Maji moto springs flowing downstream to Loboi
settlement and irrigation schemes. The gradient along this area is very high thus leading to a lot of
erosion especially during the rainy season. Around this WRUA has a lot of human activity
ranging from sand harvesting in the upper stream of Koitegan and Maji moto areas to irrigation
activities around Maji Moto swamp, Sugutek irrigation scheme, Kamoskoi irrigation amongst
others and one of the challenges in the irrigation schemes is the conflicts amongst farmers due to
competition for the scarce water resources. The area is also facing a challenge due to uncontrolled
use of chemicals such as pesticides thus polluting the water around this eco-system. It is therefore
through this project that Loboi-Koitegan WRUA seeks to address this perennial challenges
through activities such as training of farmers on efficient use of water to avoid conflict and ensure
the resource is equitably shared to benefit majority, train farmers on how to handle agrochemicals
to avoid polluting the water thus ensuring access to safe water, riparian protection in
this eco-system, develop sub-catchment management plan to help protect the whole ecosystem,
exchange visit to successful WRUA for WRUA members, water harvesting at the upper and
middle basin and establishment of sand dams at the upper river basin so as to guard this ecosystem
from being degraded.
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Project Snapshot

Loboi Koitegan Water Resources Users Association
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 29,918.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 5,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 22,240.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr. Christopher Kimugon


P.O Box 367-20105
Mogogtio , Baringo ,

SGP Country office contact

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


UNDP, P.O. Box 30218
Nairobi, 00100