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

Athi River Basin/ Tsavo West National Park, Kenya

Two Expert Seminars were organised by the Centre for International Capacity Development, Universität Siegen in cooperation with Severin Safari Camp, Taita Taveta University College, and WRMA/GIZ Kenya. The first one of the two has been held in August/September 2013. read here for more information

The second Expert seminar took place from 11th to 22nd of May 2014

A multinational, multi-Institutional team of 35 participants comprising of Water experts, Policy makers, practitioners (Managers) and local Community were involved to establish problem and sustainable utilization of water in the lower Tsavo river catchment .In addition the seminar was to review the previous work done by the DAAD experts in 2013 on the upper Kilimanjaro Catchment of Tsavo river.

The opening ceremony was graced by His Excellency the Governor of Taita Taveta County John Mruttu. Key notes addresses were delivered by the Deputy Principal of TTUC Prof. Baraza, WRMA CEO Representative Eng. Mwaniki, KFS representative Rose Akombo.

All institutions expressed interest in Water resources and Environmental conservation in Kenya at large and Taita Taveta County in particular. They also desired and pledged to adopt the findings and outcomes of the Workshop. WRMA being the lead agency in Water resources Management in Kenya indicated that while 1500 WRUAs are required, only 500 are presently established. Stakeholders evaluation of Kilimanjaro Sub- Catchment 2013 report, indicated the findings were relevant and useful to stakeholders (e.g. Kajiado County, WRMA, AWF)

During this seminar, field data collection  involved participants undertaking transect walk in Kishushe, Mghange, and Mwanda Sub catchments  led by members of the local community, CBOs and  WRUA. Data was collected by observation, interviews and recording of key events and GPS. Data collected was analysed, spatial data were mapped and trends established. Results produced were discussed and major observations were made.

Major observation, Conflict analysis and final report submission and compilation were done through group and panels discussion at Severin Safari Camp from 17.05.2014 to 21.05.2014.

The following observations were deemed important in the sub catchment:

  • catchment degradation of the watershed,
  • unprotected water sources,
  • Soil erosion,
  • problems of water quality,
  • WRUA In forming stage (due to limited sensitization),
  • fractured and unfocussed water management hence problems of unclear mandates were eminent.

As a result of Conflict Analysis and stakeholders mapping, conflicts were outlined as human to human, human to wildlife and also institutional to institutional conflicts as far as the Institutional policies is concerned. Causes of conflicts were in the form of water over abstraction during dry seasons hence imbalance of water supply, wild animals invading community farms, loss of livestock, poaching and conflicting policies in institutional respectively.


From the foregoing it was recommended that awareness creation, sensitization, and advocacy among all stakeholders, spear headed by WRMA was key to sustainable water resource management in the sub –catchment. Secondly, establishment of an active stakeholders forum involving water resource management institution, county governance, academia, local community, investors, NGO and CBOs to coordinate, activities in the watershed was crucial. Thirdly, great efforts in capacity building for WRUAs accompanied by Catchment rehabilitation and protection, would sustain water resource needs among Upstream and downstream users.