ENGAGING LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The Maasai community has for a long time co-existed harmoniously with wildlife, a relationship that is increasingly strained due to increasing population and infrastructural development that exerts pressure on wildlife habitat and water resources occasioning human wildlife conflict.

WWF-Kenya with the support of HSBC bank has been working with a Water Resources Users’ Association (WRUA)¹ in Leshuta, Mara to better manage water resources and reduce wildlife conflict: Voice of nature: Mara residents take up conservation of forests.

Through this initiative, the community has managed to construct an eight kilometer water pipeline from a rehabilitated spring. The pipeline supplies more than 3000 people and their livestock with clean water.

Mr. Tony Tuyah, Chairman Leshuta WRUA has indicated that the local community has protected and rehabilitated four more water springs. This community has managed to achieve this through planting trees around the water springs, volunteering in construction of water pans for livestock and putting up fences around the springs to protect from encroachment. This has led to an increase in availability of safe water.

Mrs. Agnes Nemashi, working at the Leshuta dispensary and a member of Leshuta WRUA confirms that disease outbreaks caused by poor hygiene -trachoma, scabies and typhoid that were common a few years ago have since reduced. She attributes this to improved hygiene by the communities occasioned by improved access to quality and sufficient water.

Article by Austine Okande/ WWF-Kenya

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