International DAAD Expert Seminar : “Water Use Conflicts – Integrated Watershed Management for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources for conservation, agriculture and tourism


24th August to 04th of September 2013
Athi River Basin/ Tsavo West National Park, Kenya


End of August 2013, a team of German Alumni scientists from Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania Uganda, Kenya and Germany went out to the catchment of the River Tsavo in the Athi River Basin, Kenya, to conduct an international Alumni Expert Seminar, organised by University of Siegen and Taita Taveta University College and supported by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), GIZ – Water Sector Reform Programme (WSRP), and Severin Safari Camp (Tsavo West National Park). The group of Alumni scientists was extended by a team of local stakeholders representing the Water Resources Management Authority, Kenya Wildlife Services, African Wildlife Foundation, and Water Resource User Associations. Representatives of County Governments were invited as well.

Main objective was to understand challenges and opportunities for restoration of the degraded catchment and to come up with practical approaches. The team met in Loitokitok in the upper part of the catchment. During a three-day field assessment data were collected. Severin Safari Camp hosted the seminar in the lower part. Water-related issues identified in the upper part were related to downstream impacts. Main stakeholders involved in water use and management were identified and levels of co-operation were mapped.

Results of the surveys showed that Tsavo River catchment is heavily degraded. Legal water use permits are missing; intensive use of water pumps is vast and uncontrolled. Kimana wetlands lost their catchment functions with subsequent impacts on Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. Water canals were mostly unlined, water was diverted leaving the river bed nearly dry leading to the fact that River Tsavo is completely falling dry regularly since 2000, leading to disappearance of wildlife.

Compromise between upstream and downstream users is needed. A catchment stakeholder forum should be organized bringing all actors together for addressing the pressing problems. An executive summary has been sent to the county governments for further action and uptake in their development plans.

<media 1011 - - "TEXT, Tsavo Seminar Executive Summary, Tsavo_Seminar_ExecutiveSummary.pdf, 803 KB">The executive summary may be downloaded here</media>

Members of GAWN at Alumniportal Deutschland find all relevant documents here


A second seminar will be held in May 2014 for evaluation.