Effects of Land Use on Water Resource Availability in Muoni Sub-Catchment, Machakos District, Kenya

ABSTRACT

Land use activities if unregulated impose a huge economic cost on water resources supplies, land productivity and water resources infrastructure and ecological damage to ecosystems. Water resource plays a central and critical role in supporting land use activities for crop production in Muoni sub-catchment. Land use activities such as unregulated agriculture and tree planting along and near water sources are some of the possible threats to water availability in Muoni sub-catchment. This affects the livelihoods of the people and the health of the environment. This study was undertaken to examine the effects of land use activities on water resource availability in the sub-catchment. Data were collected through household interviews, focus group discussions, mapping of the catchment water sources, and secondary data on the catchment water resources endowment. A total of 230 households selected through simple random sampling technique from the catchment’s 2303 households. The questionnaires coded and the information analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). Geographical Positioning System (GPS) was used to locate and map water sources. The study revealed that the sub-catchment is characterized by diverse land use activities mainly agricultural in nature such as cash crop farming mainly coffee, food crops farming (rain-fed and irrigation), animal keeping, tree planting mostly eucalyptus trees, brick making, water harvesting and sand harvesting. A total of 30 water sources were identified of which 6 sources had dried up as a result of destructive land use activities. One stream, two springs and three shallow wells had been affected by land use activities in turn affecting adversely their water discharge capacity and levels. The findings of this study revealed that the level of community participation and involvement in the sub-catchment in water resources management was very low. Catchment area advisory committees and water resources users associations do not exist in the sub-catchment. The available organized self-help groups were dealing with issues outside water resources management. Ecological areas and riparian buffer zones of the sub-catchment were under intense threat of destruction from competing land use activities. The study recommends the creation of catchment area advisory committee (CAAC) and water resource users association (WRUA) to regulate water demand and use for better management of the sub-catchment water resources. This will not only create awareness on water scarcity and solve water conflicts among users, but also make strategic plans for water allocation, distribution and use. The study also recommends a review and harmonization of different Acts and Legislations dealing with catchments resources protection and management in order to clearly spell out roles and responsibilities of Government institutions responsible for natural resources protection and management and remove duplications and conflicts. This will help in examining the relevance, validity and applicability of these legislations to the current national situations and circumstances.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Land is one of the most important resources from which communities generate goods and services for their livelihoods, with water being the essential input for all land-use activities (Campbell et al., 2003a). Human land-use is at the centre of some of the most complicated and pressing problems facing resource managers and land users in balancing trade-offs between human needs and the environment (DeFries et al., 2007). The impacts of land-use activities have been of primary concern as they affect the ability of natural systems to support both the human and ecological needs (Reid et al., 2004).

Global water use has been increasing much faster than population growth and it will continue to increase rapidly as industrial, agricultural and domestic demands for water raises (UNDP, 2006; GWP, 2004a). The soaring global demand for water has become an environmental cost with some rivers no longer reaching the sea due to loss of river-fed basins and wetlands (GWP, 2004a). With over 41% of the world’s population living in river basins, there is real cause for concern on the likely effects of human induced activities on the river basins‟ water resources (MEA, 2005).

Kenya with a population estimated at 37.2 million (Republic of Kenya, 2008a), faces a complex water resources crisis because of its rainfall variability and distribution, deforestation of water catchment areas, degradation of water resources and changing national land-use policies (Republic of Kenya, 2006). Ninety percent (90%) of the population living in rural areas derives its livelihood directly from land use (Republic of Kenya, 2008a). Water as a land based resource is crucial for socio-economic development of the country, but with increasing population and land use intensification for food production; future water availability is an issue of apprehension due to the continued encroachment into catchment areas through land-use activities (Campbell et al., 2003a; ECA, 2005)

The increase in population, declining land area available for cultivation due to land subdivisions coupled with unsustainable land management practices affect land productivity, forcing communities to intensify cultivation into catchment areas in search of more land which, ultimately affect the catchment water functions (Campbell et al., 2003b). Water catchment areas as natural systems require utmost care in balancing exploitation and conservation (Terer, 2004).

Land-use activities such as settlement, unregulated agriculture, over-grazing and vegetation removal are some of the possible threats to water availability and use in catchment areas which affect the livelihoods of the people and the health of the environment. It is against this background that, this study was set to examine how land use including land management practices affect water resource availability in Muoni sub-catchment, Machakos District of Kenya.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

There is a growing concern and awareness both at national and international level, that many forms of development activities are causing environmental and natural resources degradation (Flint, 2004). Within the last 50 years, ecosystems have been altered more rapidly and extensively than in any other period in history (MEA, 2005). This has led to unprecedented transformation of freshwater ecosystems and consequent biodiversity loss, with over half of the world population living in river basins (MEA, 2005; GWP, 2004a).

Due to the changing water use patterns, global water situation will continue to worsen unless measures are taken to improve on water resource management and use (UNDP, 2006; GWP, 2004a). Land-use activities have the potential to damage the environment and degrade resources including the natural resources upon which livelihoods are based (Reid et al., 2004), particularly water resources. A major national challenge today is how to maintain sustainable development without degradation of the environment and natural resources (Republic of Kenya, 2006).

Land is a vital factor of production in Kenya, where the performance of key growth sectors of the economy largely depends on people’s access to and utilisation of land (Republic of Kenya, 2007a). However, since independence, land has remained a contentious and unresolved issue. The absence of a national land use policy has led to the proliferation of unsustainable natural resources use, unplanned agricultural land use, informal settlements, inadequate infrastructural services, environmental degradation and conflicts on land resource use (Republic of Kenya, 2008a).

Soil erosion through rainwater is a serious problem affecting both the agricultural land in high rainfall areas as well as the semi-arid areas upon which rural population depend for livelihood (Obando, 2005). Land-use management practices can achieve „win-win‟ solutions that satisfy human needs while maintaining ecological function (DeFries, 2007).

Domestic water sources in rural settings include streams, springs, ponds, small dams, shallow wells and small piped systems (Republic of Kenya, 2007b). Such sources are very susceptible to encroachment and pollution through land-use activities because they are open and often not protected (Masiyandima, 2007).

Water use problems in Muoni sub-catchment tend to manifest in areas where individual farmers are driven by the desire to maximise on gains from land-use activities, without considering the likely effects to other users. Fencing of water sources for individual use, planting of high water use trees for short-term gains on streams and springs, putting weirs to abstract water upstream are some of the land-use activities individual farmers practice in catchments, which consequently affect water availability.

Majority of sub-catchment water sources (streams, springs and shallow wells) are located on potential agricultural lands that are owned by individuals putting the protection and ownership of these water sources at the mercy of the same individual land-owners. At the same time, accessibility to these sources to fetch water may be determined by the land owner willingness to allow people access the areas.

The on-going land use activities in the sub-catchment may have a significant impact on the sub-catchment water resources which are the main livelihoods sources of the Muoni community. Hence there is need for land and water resources optimum utilization in order to meet the basic human requirements and at the same time protect and conserve the ecological and riparian buffer zones of the sub-catchment from degradation.

1.3 Justification of the Study

Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as a social and an economic good (GWP, 2004b), where everybody has a basic right to access potable water at an affordable price. A society that is subjected to water scarcity responds by either storing water through water storage facilities, conservation of water resources and/or begin to realize that it must do something different with the water it has in order to get more value out of every drop (ECA, 2005).

Water accessibility in rural areas in Kenya estimated at 48% (Republic of Kenya, 2007c) which is very low and insufficient. This could be as result of dilapidated water supply infrastructure, rainfall variability and distribution, land use and possibly degradation of water resources. Considering the population density of the Muoni sub-catchment of 520 persons/km2 (Republic of Kenya, 2000), the sub-catchment was perceived to be experiencing water resource use stress because of the likely diverse land-use activities necessitated by the high population density.

The study is fundamental in providing information that can guide in policy decision making on land use in light of the current high population growth rates and increasing catchments degradation. It will also bring an understanding of the relationship between land use activities and water resources.

The study was also expected to provide information and data on the effects of human induced activities on water resources, and consequently generate useful and informed measures to address the existing challenges. Such likely measures will deal with equitable and efficient use of water for agriculture and other productive activities, and coping strategies with limited water availability.

The choice for Muoni sub-catchment is because I am familiar with the area and I do understand and speak the community local language, which enables one to understand land and water issues from local perspective. The area is characterized by steep slopes and people have settled and cultivated intensively on the sub-catchment. This is likely to place the sub-catchment water resources at competition with land-use activities putting the water sources at high risk of degradation and depletion.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the types of land-use activities practiced in the sub-catchment?
  2. What are the types of water sources available in the sub-catchment?
  3. What are the effects of land-use activities on water sources?
  4. What are the community-led management mechanisms on water resources?

1.5 Study Objectives

1.5.1 General Objective

The overall objective of the study was to examine the effects of land use on water resource availability and use in Muoni sub-catchment.

1.5.2 Specific Objectives

  1. To determine the types of land-use activities practiced in the sub-catchment
  2. To assess the types of water sources available in the sub-catchment
  3. To evaluate the likely effects of land-use on water sources
  4. To examine community-led initiatives in managing water resources in the catchment

1.6 Research Hypotheses

HO: There is no significant difference between land size and land use activities

HO1: There is no significant difference between land size and rain fed crop farming 8

HO2: There is no significant difference between land size and irrigated farming

HO3: There is no significant difference between land size and tree planting

HO4: There is no significant difference between land size and animal keeping

1.7 Significance of the Study

The study is expected to provide baseline information on human-induced land use activities and their effects on water sources, and draw up measures that will guide the Muoni community in addressing water resource allocation and use, and also invigorate policy-makers and researchers to rethink on the issue of ownership and accessibility of water resource as a basic human right. It is also expected to derive strategic measures of improving water availability and use in the sub-catchment that will contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal target of increasing water accessibility and especially in the rural areas.

1.8 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study covered the entire Muoni sub-catchment and focused on examining land use activities and water use related issues at community and household level. Institutions that play a direct role in the management of the catchment resources were included in the study, such as the Ministries of Water, Agriculture, Forestry services and Environment; and the provincial administration. The study carried out an assessment and mapping of water sources available in the sub-catchment to determine how they are utilized, managed and the role if any, the community plays in the management of these resources. The study was limited to the Muoni sub-catchment of the Iveti catchment due to the vastness of the catchment. The terrain and the expanse of the study area was a challenge and targeted households for interviews were reached by walking regardless of the terrain.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Land use activities – refers to the human induced activities practised on the land in the sub-catchment such as farming, animal keeping, tree planting, sand harvesting, water harvesting and brick making for the purposes of supporting livelihoods

Water resources – water sources such as rivers, streams, springs, shallow wells, dams, ponds and boreholes among others.

Water harvesting – mainly used to refer to roof catchments (tapping rain water from house roofs).

Household – a group people of the same family (father, mother and children and grandchildren) that resides in the same place (homestead) shares the same piece of land and makes joint or coordinated decisions over resource allocation and use.

Land size – refers to the number of acres a particular household owns and controls.

Over-abstraction – refers to overdrawing of water or excess usage reducing its availability to other users.

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

This chapter gives a review of various literature materials on land use, water resources and catchment management initiatives centering on what other researchers have done in similar fields in order to identify knowledge gaps that needed to be addressed in this study and strengths that can back-up the study and its recommendations.

2.2 Land Use

Land-use decisions ultimately weigh the inherent trade-offs between satisfying immediate human needs and unintended ecosystem consequences based on societal values, where the ecological knowledge to assess these consequences is a prerequisite to assessing the full range of trade-offs involved in land-use decisions (Defries et al., 2004). Destructive land use imposes a huge economic cost on water supply, land productivity and water resources infrastructure and ecological damage to ecosystems (Hirji and Ibrekk, 2001).

Kenya has a total surface area of 59,195,800 hectares (587,000 km2) of which 58,072,800 hectares (576,000 km2) is land mass and water bodies form a surface area of 1,123,000 hectares (11,000 km2) is water (Republic of Kenya, 2008a; 2008b). Only 17.5% of the total land mass is arable (of high and medium agricultural potential with adequate and reliable rainfall). This high and medium potential arable land is dominated by subsistence and commercial agriculture (Republic of Kenya, 2004).

The land tenure system operative in Kenya has been characterized as private/modern, communal/customary, public/state and open access (Republic of Kenya, 2004; Kameri-Mbote, 2005), and the land is owned by four different kinds of entities, namely the government, county councils, individuals and groups. Individual tenure is a regime in which land and land-based resources are owned by individuals (Akech, 2006); this is the common land ownership practice in the country.

Land-use activities are driven by the need to improve agricultural production and livelihoods (Reid et al., 2004). Ngigi et al. (2005) notes that rainwater harvesting and management are some of the land-use activities aimed at retaining additional runoff on agricultural lands for productive uses. The study further asserts that, rainwater storage systems may lead to positive impacts by reducing water abstraction for irrigation from rivers during the dry seasons making more water available for domestic use. The Muoni study examined the extent of water harvesting as a land-use activity and its effects on water availability in the catchment.

A study by Fiener et al. (2005) to monitor the effectiveness of small detention ponds as a land-use activity for managing erosion and water quality found that, water detention ponds were effective in reducing adverse erosion effects down-slope, when combined with on-site erosion control measures such as mulch tillage, their effectiveness improved because sediment and runoff were reduced thus improving water quality.

Githaiga et al. (2003) investigated water quality changes with land use type and found out that, water resources were subjected to multiple and competing uses, they serve as domestic water sources, agricultural land irrigation sources as well as watering points for livestock and wildlife. The study did not look at how these different and competing uses of water resource affect water availability.

A study by Reid et al. (2004) on agricultural land-use activities found that, agricultural activities involve diversion of water for consumptive use reducing water flow in a water sources, thus reducing the amount of water available downstream for other users. The study noted that, water diversion and abstraction leads to reduced water flows to downstream users impacting negatively on water availability and use. This is one of the land use issues the Muoni study explored in assessing the effects of farming activities on water availability in the sub-catchment.

According to Kithia (1997), land use patterns within a drainage basin are highly influenced by rainfall patterns, topography and human activity, such land use patterns accompanied by other land use activities. The progressive downstream changes coupled with climatic variations have had a major impact on soil erosion and sediment transport. Such land use activities that make a basin prone to land and environmental degradation include agricultural and industrial activities, livestock grazing and settlements. Loss of protective land cover decreases the potential for infiltration; increases surface runoff and results in significant soil loss (Terer, 2004). The underlying causes of vegetative clearance for farming activities and especially in Kenya is mainly due to population growth, economic development and changing government policies on land use (Republic of Kenya, 2006).

The general belief that high population pressure contributes to severe environmental degradation was disputed by Tiffen et al. (1994) who stated that high population does not necessarily lead to environmental degradation. However, his study looked at population and land use only, and did not look at land use and how it affects water resource use. The study also did not consider the issue of poverty, which tends to make farmers get pre-occupied with land use survival engagements and give little attention to conservation practices.

A study by Olson et al. (2004) on the root causes of land use change leading to land degradation and changing biodiversity identified a number of critical processes that play a big role affecting land use linkages to biodiversity and land degradation. These processes according to the study, play an important role in household decision making that affect land use and management, but are often overlooked in broad land use change analysis. Such processes include national policies, income diversification, gender roles and poverty levels.

Campbell et al. (2003b) looked at diversity in land use and development issues and found that, majority of rural farmers expressed the view that agricultural productivity had worsened overtime as a result of soil erosion, infertile soils, lack of pasture, vegetation removal, and declining access to water. The study revealed that 60% of farmers interviewed reported that soil erosion had increased, where 75% of farmers interviewed reported soil fertility had decreased and 66% of farmers interviewed reported that the area under vegetation cover had declined. The study noted also that 81% of farmers interviewed reported as having a problem with access to water mainly due to drought and land use activities. The Muoni study sought to find out how land-use activities influence and affect water availability in the sub-catchment.

According to a study by Hirji and Ibrekk (2001) on environmental and water resources management, the study notes that poor cultivation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing depletes vegetative cover and topsoil, alters runoff and infiltration rates, reduces soil holding water capacity, increases intensity of floods and affects groundwater recharge. The study further indicates that, sediment deposition reduces the economic life of storage structures, lowers conveyance capacities in irrigation canals/river channels, increases operation/maintenance costs, and raises the costs of water treatment due to amounts of chemicals required for reducing high turbidity levels in water during treatment. The Muoni study determined how farming activities in the sub-catchment affects water storage structures such as the Muoni dam.

2.3 Water Resources

There is growing global recognition that, functionally intact and biologically complex freshwater ecosystems provide economically valuable commodities and services to society beyond direct water supply (Flint, 2004; GWP, 2006). Water resources are an integral part of the ecosystem, a social and economic good, and a scarce resource (Shisanya, 2005)

The emerging water scarcity in many parts of the world is as a result of unsustainable management and use of water resources due to poor social, environmental and economic policies and actions (UNDP, 2006). The scarcity has been precipitated by the combined effects of reduced water supply due to climate variability and climate change, declining availability of fresh water per capita as a result of demands by rapidly growing populations, and increasing degradation of surface and groundwater resources due to many types of unsustainable water and land-use practices (MEA, 2005; Morrison et al. 2009).

Destructive land use activities undermine the integrity of aquatic ecosystems and threaten both the natural and invested capital and the sustainability of the water resources ecosystems. Over-abstraction of surface water and over-pumping of groundwater, along with uncontrolled discharges of municipal, industrial, and agricultural waste effluents damages water biodiversity and imposes considerable costs on downstream users (Hirji & Ibrekk, 2001). Often, more than one factor contributes to a single problem, requiring a set of policy decisions and interventions to address the effects.

Kenya is a water-scarce country with a renewable fresh water per capita at 647 m3 against the United Nations recommended minimum of 1000 m3 (Republic of Kenya 2007b). This compares unfavourably with the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Tanzania, which have per capita levels of 2940 m3 and 2696 m3 respectively (UNDP, 2006). It is critical to note that Kenya’s fresh water per capita has been declining and is projected to reach 235 m3 by 2035 unless effective measures to address the challenges facing water resource management are implemented (Republic of Kenya, 2007b).

Degradation of water resources in Kenya has been caused by poor land management, mostly destruction of natural vegetation in the catchment areas through activities such as farming, encroachment and illegal logging of forests (Republic of Kenya, 2007a; 2007b). Deforestation and vegetation removal in the past has been as a result of forest excision for farming, settlement and illegal tree felling for fuel and timber mainly witnessed in many parts of the country in the year 2000/01(Akotsi, 2006). This has led to increased runoff, flash flooding, reduced infiltration, soil erosion, and siltation in the dams and other water reservoirs, negatively affecting water quality and recharge level in many catchment areas in the country (Terer, 2004).

Economic and population growth not only cause an increase in aggregate water use, but also produces wide-ranging and often negative effects on other vital elements of the water resource ecosystem (GWP, 2006). These effects include, for example, degraded soils, land, deforested, degraded watersheds that result in damaging changes in the water cycle (including drying of rivers), increased wastewater discharges that affect downstream of water resources, encroachment, interference in the normal functioning of wetlands (MEA, 2005; DeFries et al., 2007).

More than one-half of the world’s major rivers are being seriously depleted and polluted, degrading and poisoning the surrounding ecosystems, thus threatening the health and livelihood of people who depend upon them for irrigation, drinking and industrial water (World Commission on Water, 2007). Groundwater contamination by toxic substances and materials reduces the use of water for drinking purpose and increases public health risks.

Degradation of water resources is attributed to inappropriate farming methods that reduce the land cover, encourage soil erosion and permit heavy siltation of the rivers. The application of poor farming methods is a result of excess pressure on land resources arising from rapid population increase and the growing demand for food (Kenya Land Alliance, 2007).

A study by Flint and Houser (2001) on water use found that demand for water resources of sufficient quantity and quality for human consumption, agricultural irrigation, and manufacturing will continue to intensify as populations increase and as global urbanization, industrialization, commercial development accelerates. The rising demand for, use of water, combined with unwise land and water use practices, pose a serious threat to people’s health, food security and future productivity and functioning of water resource systems (Hirji & Ibrekk, 2001).

A study by Mati et al. (2006) assessing water availability under pastoral livestock systems in drought prone areas revealed that, poor distribution of water sources is the main cause of poor distribution of livestock in the rangelands. The study noted that without a water source, it is difficult to keep livestock in an area long enough to achieve proper utilization of forage. The study further found that, water availability problems during the dry season was the critical factor that limited livestock populations and pasture access. The study indicates that water availability is a determinant of certain land-use activities. The Muoni study examined different land-use activities in the sub-catchment and how these activities are influenced by water availability. The study also assessed if certain land-use activities are determined by water availability and how water resources are utilized in the sub-catchment, given that ecological function of catchments reacts differently to induced human activities (DeFries et al., 2007).

Terer (2004) investigated the hydrologic characteristics and management practices in agricultural river catchments and found that, protective land cover plays a very important role in river catchment process, but the ever-rising demand for land to produce crops has come in conflict with maintenance of water catchment areas. The study revealed that loss of protective land cover decreases the potential for infiltration and water retention capacity, increases surface runoff and results in significant soil loss. The study further revealed that, high population density brings about changes in land use and management approaches which affect the hydrologic characteristics of a catchment impairing negatively on water availability, soil fertility and sustainable food productivity. The Muoni study keenly explored and determined the effects of land use on water availability at household level in the sub-catchment.

2.4 Community-led Water Management Initiatives

Water, is the most important natural resource, indispensable for life and, at the same time, the backbone of growth and prosperity for mankind. More people die of water related diseases than in military conflicts around the world, with over 5,000 children in the world losing their lives daily due to insufficient access to safe water and basic sanitation (UNDP, 2006; Republic of Kenya, 2007b).

Kenya’s vision of achieving sustainable management and development of the country’s water resources as a basis for poverty alleviation and promotion of socio-economic development was envisaged in the Sessional Paper Number 1 of 1999 on National Water Resources Management and Development, which provided policy direction to address the country’s water resources Management and Development issues (Republic of Kenya, 1999). This process led to the development and enactment of the Water Act 2002 under the umbrella of the water sector reforms (Republic of Kenya, 2002).

The Kenya’s water sector reforms (Republic of Kenya, 2002) provides a role for the community in water management, through the formation of water user associations. The Act aims at restructuring the water sector management, calling for decentralization of functions to lower level state organizations, and the involvement of non-government entities in the management of water and community based provision of water services. Most significantly, the Act provides a role for community groups, organized as water resource users associations in the management of water resources (Republic of Kenya, 2007c).

The ability of rural communities to provide potable water services through community groups is demonstrated by the fact that over 2.3 million people get water services from systems operated by community self-help groups (Mumma, 2005). In rural areas where private water service providers are likely to be few, the role of these community self-help groups in water provision is likely to remain significant.

According to Ngana et al. (2003), water resources management is an issue of high significance to communities in a basin, and communities engage in various conservation measures to control soil erosion through planting of trees, establishing contour bunds and good livestock keeping such as zero grazing to ensure that land-use activities are sustainable and water sources are preserved.

A study by Mwanyoka (2006) on the evaluation of community participation in water resources management in East Usambara area, Tanzania revealed that majority of the people participate through various ways and that in every village there is a Village Environmental Committee that oversees environmental management activities. These committees comprised both males and female members, which is an indication that there is gender consideration in natural resource management. The study further revealed that indigenous knowledge and practices for managing forest and water resources have also been used in the past, but the practice was vanishing very fast because of passing away of the elders who used to be the custodians of these practices, and the habit of young generation disregarding these practices in favour of the modern conservation measures.

Mwanyoka (2006) also notes that, the existing type of community involvement is not all that effective in bringing about significant impact in natural resources management. This emanates from the fact that the involvement is only limited to activities that do not entail planning and decision making and hence not complying with what various national and international policies and resolutions advocate for as regards public participation in integrated water resource management.

One of the most visible successes in water resource management in Kenya is the participatory approach by stakeholders and especially communities in water issues through the formation of Water Resources Users Association (WRUAs) and the Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs) and their involvement in decision making (Republic of Kenya, 2008c; 2007c).

The participation of stakeholders, including water users in the context of WRUAs and CAACs, makes water resource management more transparent and leads to better planning. Their involvement contributes to a demand–driven administration of water as a scarce resource and therefore, leads to more equitable access. The empowerment of water users under the umbrella of WRUAs reduces violent conflicts over water resource and also helps in addressing gender disparities in resource management (WRMA, 2009).

A successful example in the area of Water Resources Management (WRM) can be demonstrated by the Bwathonaro Water Resources Users Association (BWARUA) in Tana catchment. Here, water sector reforms have led to an improvement of water quality in the river through the banning of washing in the rivers and the establishment of alternative and controlled washing sites, relocation and construction of pit latrines away from rivers, more equitable access to water, increased availability of resources and more participation. This has generated sustainable progress on the implementation of human rights to water in the water sector (DAAD Alumni Summer School, 2007; Republic of Kenya, 2007c). The Tana catchment has total of 46 WRUAs as compared to Athi catchment which has only 5 WRUAs (WRMA, 2009; Republic of Kenya, 2008c)

Curbing of illegal and over-abstraction of water has resulted in increased water flow in Bwathonaro river. The river now flows throughout the year including the dry seasons. This has seen great improvement in the supply of raw water.

The Muoni study critically examined the existing community-led initiatives in natural resources management and the role of community-based organizations in the management of the sub-catchment resources, and the available initiatives towards sustainable resource management either by government or non-governmental organizations in meeting the objectives of the water sector reforms.

 

CHAPTER THREE

MATERIALS AND METHODS

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the materials and methods used during the study. In particular, the chapter discusses the study area, data collection methods, data sampling techniques and data analysis including statistical testing to explain relationship between variables.

3.2 Study Area

3.2.1 Location

This research study was conducted in Muoni sub-catchment located in Kathiani Division, Machakos District under the larger Athi Catchment. Muoni is a small river sub-catchment of about 25 km2 (Republic of Kenya, 2000). The sub-catchment is geographically bounded by latitudes 37.16° E and 37.20° E, and longitudes 1.24°S and 1.28° S 37 (Figure 3.1)

3.2.2 Population

The sub-catchment is generally densely settled with an estimated population of 13,000 people representing a population density of 520 persons/ km2 (Republic of Kenya, 2000). Settlement is evenly distributed in both high and low areas of the sub-catchment. Poverty levels stand at 54% for male-headed households and 59% for female-headed households with a poverty gap as a percent of the poverty line standing at 19% and 21% for male and female-headed households respectively (Republic of Kenya, 2005).

3.2.3 Topography and Climate

The Muoni sub-catchment area is characterized by steep slopes which are intensively cultivated. Muoni River is the main river in this catchment which is a tributary of Thwake River which feeds into Athi River. Muoni River is seasonal while Thwake River is perennial. The sub-catchment covers Kathiani, Mbee, Kaewa and Lita sub-locations (Republic of Kenya, 1976). It receives two distinct rainy seasons, namely November to December – short rains and March to May – long rains. Sometimes the short rains are actually longer and more reliable than the long rains.

There are two significant hills which border the sub-catchment and are the main river sources of the sub-catchment, which are Iveti hills to the south-west and Kyevaluki/Uuni hills to the east of the sub-catchment. The geology of the area is characterized by rocks of massive granite gneisses. The geological formations overlying the basement complex vary between alluvial deposits at the valleys to undifferentiated tertiary sediments (Lundgren 1993).

3.3 Data Collection

This study was carried out during the months of May – September 2008. The study utilized primary data generated through household survey interviews, focus group discussions and mapping of water sources; and secondary data on the sub-catchment water resources endowment, sources and yields.

3.3.1 Primary Data Collection

The study collected primary data on four levels; first, was the use of in-depth interview with individual households using a structured questionnaire, (Appendix I). The second level was the use of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) which gave the community (selected representatives) an opportunity to discuss freely issues related to land and water use in the catchment. The third level was interviews with government institutions and Non-governmental organizations dealing directly with land and water-related issues in the catchment. The fourth level was mapping of the catchment water sources to determine their numbers, location and yields.

The first part of the primary data collection was mainly through the use of a structured questionnaire administered to the selected households, direct observation using a checklist and photography. The introductory part of the questionnaire contained a checklist on the general appearance of the household homesteads, the type of housing, roof catchment and type of water harvesting structures if any.

The structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on land size, land ownership, and land-use activities including the water sources for these land-use activities. This was intended to look at different land use types, and how they relate to water availability. This part was also intended to capture land management practices and what conservation measures farmers practice to improve on land use and control soil loss, conserve and protect water sources in the catchment.

The final part of the household questionnaire was focusing on community-led initiatives in the management of the catchment resources and the support the communities were receiving from external sources (Government and NGOs) towards natural resources management and specially water resources. Different land use activities and water sources types were observed and photographed including different methods of water collection and harvesting. The focus group discussion looked at different land-use activities ranging from farming, sand harvesting and tree planting among other activities and how these were affecting water availability and use in the catchment, and come up with certain suggestions on how some of the land-use activities that affect water availability negatively should be dealt with.

The government institutions and non-governmental organizations targeted for this study provided information on the current efforts towards enhancing the catchment resources management and community participation in sustainable resources management by completing a questionnaire.

Mapping of the sub-catchment water sources (dam, rivers, streams, springs and shallow wells) was undertaken using GPS. This was aimed at determining the type of sources (such as a river, stream, dam, borehole and shallow well), the status of the sources in terms of yields, people the source serves, and the number of months the source is able to yield water under normal circumstances.

3.3.2 Secondary Data Collection

Data on the catchment water endowment levels and sources were acquired from the Athi Basin Water Resources Management Authority regional offices at Machakos. Such data included the number of small scale-piped systems, wells, boreholes, streams, dams and springs, and their yields including data on water sources that may have dried up or ceased to exist or not functional. This was made to compare with the information and data gathered in the mapping process of the sub-catchment water sources.

3.4 Data Sampling Design

The desired information for this study was obtained from a sample of 230 households selected through simple random sampling technique (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). This represents 10% of the sub-catchment 2303 households (Republic of Kenya, 2000). The sample was equally drawn from the 4 sub-locations administrative units in the sub-catchment.

The study sample was identified at sub-location level using the community household registers at the sub-chiefs offices. Sub-location assistant chiefs provided registers containing all households in their areas of administration. Using the registers, the households were listed by names in a numerical form to establish the actual number of households in each sub-location. After the actual numbers were established for each sub-location, each household was listed on a piece of paper, folded, in a box and shuffled then a random selection (picking) from the box was done one by one until the desired sample size was obtained out for each sub-location (Table 3.1).

Table 3.1 Study area households and sample size

Sub-location Number of households Sample size at 10%
Kathiani 84 8
Mbee 917 92
Kaewa 1139 114
Lita 163 16
Total 2303 230

Source: Republic of Kenya, 2000

Generally, the heads of the households listed were interviewed. In cases where the head of household was absent, the person available at the homestead was interviewed provided he or she was an adult of sound mind and aged above eighteen years.

The sample population for the focus group discussions selection was guided by land-use activities and gender issues identified during the households interview/survey. For ease of having a manageable and focused group, the composition was limited to eight members.

3.5 Methods of Data Analysis

The questionnaires were coded, entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Pearson Chi-square test (Salkind, 1996) was used to explain the relationship between these variables.

The Chi-square test (Χ2) is a statistical test used to determine if observed data deviate from those expected under the null hypothesis (Salkind, 1996; Mugenda and Mugenda, 2003). It tests the null hypothesis (H0), which states that there is no significant difference between expected and observed data. It helps to reject H0, and accept H1 after comparing the value of chi-square to a probability distribution. Χ2 values with low probability lead to the rejection of H0 and it is assumed that a factor other than chance creates a large deviation between expected and observed results.

Results obtained from this analysis are explained in form of frequencies, percentages and displayed in tables, pie charts, graphs and maps. The information arising from the focus group discussions (FGDs) was synthesized qualitatively.

The information obtained from government institutions and Non-governmental organizations through a questionnaire on the current efforts towards enhancing the sub-catchment resources management and community participation was synthesized qualitatively and used in writing this report. The information and data arising from the mapping of the sub-catchment water sources were tabulated using excel spreadsheet. To produce a sub-catchment water sources network map showing distribution and status of the water sources. The water sources data and information was tabulated using excel spreadsheet and analyzed using Arc view GIS. To generate the map, the Muoni sub-catchment was delineated from the Survey of Kenya 1:50,000 top-sheet map 149/4 series Y731 (Republic of Kenya, 1967). The map was scanned and on-screen digitization of the sub-catchment boundary carried out. Geo-referencing of the water sources was done using the GPS readings obtained from the field and digitized on the delineated map.

This study was conducted between May and September 2008 for convenience purposes. It is during this period in time when rainfall in the sub-catchment is low making the area easily accessible given that, the sub-catchment has a terrain of steep slopes which make walking difficult during the rainy seasons.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

4.1 Introduction

This chapter covers data analysis, results and discussions. The chapter presents the results of the study in terms of data analysis, interpretations and discussions. The analysis and interpretation of the results is done on the basis of study objectives and hypotheses. The analyzed data are presented in frequency tables, graphs and charts.

4.2 Land-Use Activities

The Muoni sub-catchment area comprises several land-use activities mainly agricultural in nature such as cash crop farming mainly coffee, food crop farming, animal keeping and tree planting (Eucalyptus, Grevillea, Pine, Cyprus and Fruit trees). Other non-agricultural land-use activities identified were sand mining, water harvesting and brick making. The sub-catchment is a steep sloped area with an average slope angle of 46 degrees (run divide by rise angle), the land-use activities practiced expose the soils to high degree of degradation through soil erosion despite the various measures the community engages in, to control and contain it.

Rain-fed crop farming (34%) was identified as the main land-use activity in the sub-catchment (figure 4.1). All the 230 households interviewed practice agricultural related land use activities at different scales, ranging from one household to the other and depending on the land size. Other dominant land-use activities include irrigated crop farming, animal keeping, tree planting, sand harvesting and water harvesting among others.

The sub-catchment is densely settled and degraded as a result of land sub-divisions arising from the ever increasing population (plate 4.1). Land fragmentation was very common in the area as evident and confirmed during the study. This was as a result of young men marrying and moving away from their parent’s homesteads and settling on their inherited farming land curved from the family land. The land fragmentation has reduced land productivity where a good agricultural land is converted into settlement and other non-productive land-use activities.

4.2.1 Rain fed and irrigated crop farming

The main crops grown are coffee, maize, beans, cowpeas, sweat potatoes, sugarcane, cassava and vegetables. Coffee is the main cash crop which is grown by nearly every farmer as an income-generating crop. The food crops are mainly grown to meet the domestic food requirements. Generally, crop farming was rain fed.

Irrigated crop farming such as growing of sugarcane and vegetables was mainly practiced along and near water sources for easy access to water for irrigation (plate 4.2). Some of the streams had dried up due to farming activities which have converted the stream beds and banks into farmlands degrading the wetlands. The other farming activities practiced have encroached on water sources have contributed to sedimentation and contamination of these water sources.

It was observed during the study that land in Muoni sub-catchment is owned and managed by individual families. The land sizes are generally small with majority of households owning less than two (2) acres (Table 4.1, figure 4.2), which are intensively cultivated to meet the minimum daily food required for the household. The size of land did not significantly determine the type of crops grown.

Table 4.1 – Land sizes and number of households

Land sizes No. of H/Holds Percentage
< 1 acre 63 28
1-2 acres 105 46
2-3 acres 35 15
3-4 acres 10 4
> 4 acres 17 7
230 100

(Source: Author, 2008)

Rainfall data for the sub-catchment is located at two meteorological stations located outside the sub-catchment namely Uuni and Mitamboni stations. Rainfall data taken at these two meteorological stations give an annual rainfall of 626.3mm and 783mm respectively with a total avenge of 704.65mm (Table 4.2).

Table 4.2 – Monthly rainfall data for 2007

Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
Uuni 45.4 40 108.3 193.7 55.8 14.4 3.2 4.3 9.4 66.2 0 85.6 626.3
Mitamboni 36 37 77 196 73 9 4 2 15 38 197 99 783.0
Average 704.65

(Source: Athi-Catchment Water Resource Management Authority, 2008).

The rainfall data shows that the area receives moderate rainfall of about 100mm on average during the months of March, April, November and December. During the other months, rainfall is very low and especially the months of June, July, August and September indicating a situation of water scarcity during this period. Under such rainfall situation, rain fed farming is limited to certain periods of the year.

There are different sources of water for the land-use activities identified in the sub-catchment (figure 4.3). Rainfall, Muoni river, streams, springs and shallow wells were identified as the main sources of water for different land-use activities with direct rainfall being the main water source for farming activities in the sub-catchment. Out of the 230 respondents, 146 (63.6%) respondents indicated that, they depended on rainfall as their main source of water for the different land-use activities followed by streams, while dams and piped water was rated as the least sources of water. This could be attributed to the land sizes in the area that are so small to allow for excavation and construction of community dams, and also the terrain of the area that cannot allow use of heavy machinery.

Considering the study hypothesis that, “there is no significant relationship between land size and land use activities” (land size and land use activities are independent), and taking (i) land size and crop farming through rain-fed to test for independence and correlation of these variables. A Pearson chi-square test gave the following results (Table 4.3)

Table 4.3 – Land size * Rain fed crop farming tabulation

Rain fed crop farming
Land sizes Yes No
< 1 acre Count 63 0
1-2 acres Count 104 1
2-3 acres Count 34 1
3-4 acres Count 10 0
> 4 acres Count 16 1
Total – Count 227 3
Chi-Square Tests – Land size * Rain fed crop farming
Value Degrees of freedom (df) Asymptomatic Significance (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 4.489(a) 4 0.344
Likelihood Ratio 4.011 4 0.405
No. of Valid Cases 230
a 5 cells (50.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 0.13

(Source: Author, 2008)

There is a significant relationship (significance level is less than 0.5). Therefore, we conclude that the two variables are not associated. The chi-square value is 4.489 and thus greater than the minimum expected value of 0.13. Hence “there is no significant relationship between land size and rain fed crop farming”.

For (ii) land size and irrigated crop farming, Pearson chi-square test, Likelihood ratio, and Asymptomatic Significance generated the following results (Table 4.4)

Table 4.4 – Land size * Irrigated crop farming tabulations

    Irrigation crops Total
Land sizes   Yes No  
< 1 acre Count 24 39 63
1 – 2 acres Count 39 66 105
2 – 3  acres Count 20 15 35
3 -4 acres Count 4 6 10
> 4 acres Count 11 6 17
Total count 98 132 230
Chi – Square Test – Land Size *Irrigation crop farming
Value Degree of freedom (df) Asymptomatic Significance (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 8.253(a) 4 0.083
Likelihood Ratio 8.195 4 0.085
No. of Valid Cases 230
A 1 cells (10.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 4.26

Source: Author, 2008

From the above results (table 4.3 and 4.4), It can therefore, be noted that: – There is no significant relationship (association) between land sizes and rain fed crop farming, while there is significant relationship (association) between land sizes and irrigated crop farming. This corroborates Huggins (2005) observation that, farmers prepare and plant their land expecting adequate and favourable rainfall irrespective of their land sizes and at the same time tend to put part of their land under irrigation depending on land size to maximize on productivity in case the expected rainfall within a given season in not favorable.

It was noted during the study that, Irrigated crop farming is mostly practiced by households less than 20 metres from water source as compared to households settled more than 20 metres from the water source (figure 4.3). This is because of the easy access to water for irrigated crop farming from the water source located near the land-use activity. The farmers living outside the 20 metres proximity incur high costs of transporting the water to their farms by use of pipes or digging canals.

Out of the 230 households interviewed 58 (25%) live within less than 20 metres proximity from a water source while 172 (75%) live outside the 20 metres proximity to a water source. Fifty four (54) of the 58 households within less than 20 metres proximity practice irrigation while 44 of the 172 households outside the 20 metres proximity practice irrigation (Figure 4.4).

The high numbers of farmers (54 out of 58) practicing agricultural activities within the 20 metres zones of water sources (Figure 4.3) are likely to cause negative ecological effect on the riparian buffer zones of this sub-catchment. Such agricultural practices affect the sub-catchment ability to support its ecological functions for the benefit of the ecosystems livelihoods and such ecosystem benefits are costly and often impossible to replace when degraded (Flint, 2004).

These practices also contravene the Agricultural Act of 1965 CAP 318, Part XVI – section L.N.26/1965, which prohibits any carrying out of agricultural activities within 30 metres of water course and source (Republic of Kenya, 1965). This is a reflection of high level of laxity and/or lack of understanding of roles on the part of government institutions responsible and expected to enforce the rules and regulations protecting water sources and their riparian buffer zones to maintain their natural ecological functions.

Two incidents of water use conflicts were noted during the data collection period, for each case, a farmer had constructed ponds across a stream impounding all the water for irrigation and denying the down streams users access to water. These incidents were reported to the local administration for arbitration and the farmers were directed to remove the barriers and allow water to flow. If the sub-catchment had effective WRUAs, these incidences could not be happening.

In absence of clear Land and Water resources ownership and use policies and regulations such as Land Tenure Systems, Catchment Management Guidelines and Water Resources Users Associations (Wakhungu et al., 2008), incidences of resources use conflicts are likely to be occurring frequently and especially during the periods of drought when water discharge levels are very low.

4.2.2 Tree Planting

Tree planting was another prominent land-use activity identified in the sub-catchment. There are various tree species grown in the area, the most predominant being the blue gum tree, an exotic species of the eucalyptus tree. Other species are grevillea, pine, cyprus and fruit trees. The indigenous species of the eucalyptus tree has been replaced gradually with a new species of eucalyptus introduced in the area in 1999 from South Africa. According to information from the divisional forestry officer and the community, the introduction of the species from South Africa was made to re-afforestate the higher parts of the sub-catchment which had been deforestated, but the planting of these trees spread to the low parts of the sub-catchment due to its quick maturity period.

Dry streams planted with eucalyptus trees were noted during the study (Plate 4.3). Arising from interviews with the community during the study, respondents noted with deep concern that, their water sources mainly streams and springs were drying up very fast in the sub-catchment, as a result of the eucalyptus trees planted in big numbers everywhere in the sub-catchment. Households interviewed indicated that these water sources (streams and springs) used to flow throughout the year before the introduction of the tree species, but now yields some little water during the rainy season.

Information available from the divisional forestry and water officers in charge of the sub-catchment indicated that the eucalyptus trees are able to drain swampy areas effectively since their water consumption is approximately ten times that of the indigenous species (WRMA, 2009; Republic of Kenya, 2007d). The information provided by these officers indicated that, the tree matures within a span of 2-3 years and had a good economic value and people have taken to growing of the South African species as a good economic venture, oblivious of its negative effect to water resources.

Farmers reported that the leaves of these trees are plastic-like in nature and do not decompose even during the rainy season and at the same time don’t allow any plant or grass to grow near where they have fallen. This was noticeable during the study and the few plants growing near these trees were slowly drying up. There has been an increasing awareness on the negative effects of these tree species on water sources. Various initiatives such as the introduction of alternative species mainly grevillea and fruit trees are being put in place by the Government and an NGOs known as BIDI (Benevolent Institute of Development Initiatives) operating in the sub-catchment to try address this problem and remove these “un-friendly environmental trees” from the sub-catchment.

The community has been encouraged by the Provisional Administration and a Non–governmental organization operating in the sub-catchment to voluntarily cut and replaced the existing eucalyptus trees and especially those at or near water sources such as the Muoni dam. The community was responding positively by forming self-help groups with an aim of establishing tree nurseries of indigenous species and low water-use trees for distribution to farmers at a fee of Kshs2 – Kshs5 per seedling to replace the eucalyptus trees. The initiative is gaining some popularity within the community, but at a slow pace because of the enormity (vastness) of the sub-catchment, and amount of resources required to organize the community into groups and mobilize the supply of seedlings to establish the tree nurseries. One of the self-help groups visited during the study was the Muuo Women group of 34 members with over 100 varieties of tree seedlings.

It was also observed that, able individual farmers were establishing tree nurseries of indigenous species on their farms for commercial purposes. They have knowledge on how and where these trees should be grown and normally advice individuals who purchase seedlings from them, on where and how they should be grown and even make follow-up visits to these farmers to assess how the seedlings are doing.

Considering the other study hypothesis that, there is no significance difference between land size and tree planting as a land use activity, a chi-square test gave the following results (Table 4.4).

Table 4.5 – Land size * Tree planting tabulation

    Irrigation crops Total
Land sizes   Yes No  
< 1 acre Count 34 29 63
1 – 2 acres Count 62 43 105
2 – 3  acres Count 25 10 35
3 -4 acres Count 5 5 10
> 4 acres Count 8 9 17
Total count 134 96 230
Chi – Square Test – Land Size *Irrigation crop farming
Value Degree of freedom (df) Asymptomatic Significance (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 4.158(a) 4 0.385
Likelihood Ratio 4.247 4 0.374
No. of Valid Cases 230
A 1 cells (10.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 4.17

Source: Author, 2008

From the above results (Table 4.5). The two variables – land size and tree planting are not associated. The chi-square value is 4.158 and thus less than the minimum expected value of 4.17. Hence, “there is no significant relationship (association) between land size and tree planting. It was noted during the study that, people in the sub-catchment have planted trees everywhere (tree planting is randomly done) including into and along water sources irrespective of their land sizes.

4.2.3 Animal Keeping

Animal keeping in the area is mainly through zero grazing comprising cows, goats and sheep. Donkeys are also kept for the purpose of water transport.

No significant association was observed between land size and animal keeping as a land use activity (Table 4.6). However it was observed that animal keeping was under zero grazing. This is mainly due to the land size and nature of the terrain (steep slope) which is not suitable for animal keeping

Table 4.6 – Land size * Animal keeping tabulation

    Irrigation crops Total
Land sizes   Yes No  
< 1 acre Count 48 15 63
1 – 2 acres Count 82 23 105
2 – 3  acres Count 29 6 35
3 -4 acres Count 8 2 10
> 4 acres Count 15 2 17
Total count 182 48 230
Chi – Square Test – Land Size *Irrigation crop farming
Value Degree of freedom (df) Asymptomatic Significance (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 1.550 4 0.818
Likelihood Ratio 1.674 4 0.795
No. of Valid Cases 230
A 2 cells (10.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 2.09

Source: Author, 2008

Land size and its slope angle is limiting factor to animal keeping for the Muoni sub-catchment community. What determines the number of animal to keep is the ability by a farmer to feed them on zero grazing level. Considering the average slope angle in the area (sub-catchment) of 46° degrees and according to recommendation from the agriculture land use officers on such land, the only suitable land use activities are agro-forestry farming, planting of nippier-grass and zero grazing.

4.3 Assessment of Water Sources in the sub-catchment

A total of 30 water sources were identified during the mapping exercise. The sub-catchment water sources identified are the Muoni dam, Muoni river, 6 streams, 7 springs and 15 shallow wells (Table 4.7).

The water sources were located using a GPS and the information regarding their status obtained through an oral interview with the local people who often use the sources for their water requirement (Appendix II).

Table 4.7 – Summary analysis of water sources in Muoni sub-catchment

No. of Sources identified thro’

mapping

No. of sources affected by land use activities (dried) Total affected by 2008
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
30 1 2 1 1 1 6
Mapped water sources (existing and dried)
river streams springs shallow wells dam Total
1 6 7 15 1 30
Mapped existing water sources (Wet)
river streams springs Shallow wells dam Total
1 5 5 12 1 24
Mapped dried water sources (Dry)
river streams springs shallow wells dam Total
0 1 2 3 0 6

Between 2003 and 2007, the sub-catchment lost 6 water sources (average of one water source every year) due to land-use activities mainly through cultivation (farming activities), siltation, and planting of eucalyptus trees. Assuming this trend continues accompanied with reduced rainfall amounts due to climate change, then the sub-catchment could end up losing at least one water source every year if no concrete measures are taken to reverse the trend of degradation.

From the 30 water sources identified, 6 sources were found to be yielding water only for a period of 4 to 6 months every year and were classified as dry water sources, because the 4 to 6 months period was during the rain seasons. The other 24 sources were found to be generating (yielding) water through-out the year under normal rainfall patterns of the area, and were classified as wet sources (Table 4.8).

Table 4.8 – Classification of mapped water sources in Muoni sub-catchment

Name of water source Type of source Period of source water yield Wet or Dry
1 Muoni Dam Dam 12 months Wet
2 Muoni River River 12 months Wet
3 Kikuyuni Stream 12 months Wet
4 Mutungoni Stream 12 months Wet
5 Kithambioni Stream 12 months Wet
6 Yamboli Stream 12 months Wet
7 Muoni Stream 12 months Wet
8 Kathaiyoni Stream 5 months Dry
9 Muikambe Spring 12 months Wet
10 Vulu Spring 10 months Wet
11 Mukuyuni Spring 5 months Dry
12 Mukongoloni Spring 12 months Wet
13 Mukongolo Spring 12 months Wet
14 Kalandini Spring 4 months Dry
15 Makau Spring 10 months Wet
16 Kwa Nzana Shallow well 12 months Wet
17 Kwa Katola Shallow well 12 months Wet
18 Kwa Nthongo Shallow well 12 months Wet
19 Kwa Ngulutu Shallow well 12 months Wet
20 Kwa Nduli Shallow well 10 months Wet
21 Kwa Muindi Shallow well 6 months Dry
22 Kwa Kala Shallow well 4 months Dry
23 Mutongoni Shallow well 12 months Wet
24 Kwa Kavili Shallow well 12 months Wet
25 Kwa Mutuna Shallow well 12 months Wet
26 Kwa Kasimba Shallow well 12 months Wet
27 Kwa Ilia Shallow well 12 months Wet
28 Kwa Kavoi Shallow well 6 months Dry
29 Kwa Ngoyo Shallow well 12 months Wet
30 Kwa Makatha Shallow well 12 months Wet

Source: (Republic of Kenya, 1967; Author, 2008)

The water sources were classified as wet or dry depending on the number of months each water source yields water under normal rainfall pattern or climatic conditions of the sub-catchment. Muoni Sub-catchment water sources network maps showing distribution and status of the water sources are presented in figures 4.5 and 4.6

Figure 4.5 – Muoni sub-catchment wet and dry water sources network

(Source: Republic of Kenya, 1967)

Figure 4.6 – Muoni sub-catchment wet water sources network

(Source: Republic of Kenya, 1967)

Some of the factors identified as causes of water sources degradation resulting to drying up of some water sources, declining water yields and decreased recharge levels include deforestation of the sub-catchment, cultivation along the stream banks and bed, and planting of eucalyptus trees, increasing water demand due to growing population, over-abstraction of water for irrigation, and pollution from waste water discharge from coffee factories.

The 6 degraded water sources comprised of 1 stream, 2 springs and 3 shallow wells which were located on the western part of the sub-catchment. 5 of these sources were found in Kaewa sub-location which provided 114 households (50%) of the total 230 households interviewed during the study. The other one (Mukuyuni spring) was found in Mbee sub-location which provided 917 households (40%) of the total 230 households interviewed. The other two sub-location Kathiani and Lita which provided 8 households (3%) and 16 (7%) households respectively did not have any degraded water sources.

This is an indication that population growth, encroachment on water sources coupled with reduced rainfall amount due to climate change could be the key contributing factors to the degradation of these water sources and the general degradation of other sub-catchment natural resources such as land.

4.4 Effects of land use on water resources

The main sources of water for domestic use in the sub-catchment were Muoni river, streams, shallow wells, springs and piped water from the Muoni dam (Table 4.9). Although the Muoni community depends on rainfall as their main source of water for different agricultural land use activities, the level of water harvesting infrastructure is very low and poor as noted during the study and confirmed by one of the respondent‟s Mr. Willy Kithuka. People in this area have not ventured into the field of rainwater harvesting and especially roof catchment because of enormous amount of surface and subsurface water the sub-catchment used to generate in the past through its now degraded streams, springs and shallow wells.

Of the households interviewed, (61%) rely on shallow wells as their main sources of domestic water use, (28%) use springs as their sources of domestic water and (4%) households use piped water from the Muoni dam. It was also noted that none of the households use direct water from Muoni dam for domestic use.

Table 4.9 – Main sources of water for domestic use

Source No. of Households Percent
Shallow well 139 61
Springs 65 28
Piped from dam 10 4
Roof catchment 10 4
River/streams 6 3
Direct from dam 0 0
Total 230 100.00

 Source: Author, 2008

The Muoni dam was not used as a direct source of water mainly because of its turbidity levels as a result of siltation and sediment loads arising from soil erosion from farms surrounding the dam and upstream areas of the dam (plate 4.4). People living around and upstream of the dam have not appreciated the value of conserving the dam because the piped water from the dam is mainly used in areas outside the sub-catchment such as the Kathiani market and other institutions around Kathiani town (the Kathiani hospital and schools) and within the town.

The supply of piped water from Muoni dam to areas outside the sub-catchment was causing considerable dissatisfaction among the people living around the dam and upstream of the dam. This negates and contradicts the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management, and especially principle No. 3 which states that “water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good” (GWP, 2000). Everybody has a basic right to access potable water within a reasonable distance and at an affordable price (GWP, 2006). It is vital to recognize first the basic right of all human beings to have access to clean and adequate quality water.

The Muoni dam is the only main source of piped water in the sub-catchment. It supplies water to institutions (schools, hospitals, markets) and households. The dam was constructed in 1986 with a capacity of 836 m3, targeting to supply 30,000 people with water within and outside the sub-catchment area (Ministry of Water Development, 1992).

Its capacity has reduced drastically to less than 450 m3 due to siltation, caused by poor land-use practices upstream which lead to soil erosion and transportation of sediments into the dam. During the study, it was established that, there were plans to put up check dams upstream during the dam construction period to prevent and control siltation and sediment transport but this was never done.

Plate 4.4 – Heavily silted Muoni dam from the colour and turbidity of water

(Source: Author, 2008)

Before the construction of the dam in 1985, water supply to the area was obtained from an underground spring at Kathaiyoni about ½ km upstream of the dam which was yielding high volumes of water and distributed by gravity flow, but due to encroachment by farming activities and planting of eucalyptus trees, this source has dried up and only yields water during the rainy season.

The dam is not fenced and people move their animals to graze around and drink water direct from the dam exposing it to contamination and pollution from animal droppings and especially donkeys. Information availed from the divisional water office revealed that a committee was formed to oversee the management of the dam but it has failed to make a positive impact in its work, and the community is just watching in despair as the dam, the only source of water continues to dry up. Water experts from the Ministry of Water Resources predict that, if the rate of siltation continues and nothing is done to address the problem, the dam is likely to dry up in 3 to 5 years‟ time.

The high use of shallow wells and springs as sources of domestic water could be attributed to the low water table in the sub-catchment and the low costs involved in digging a shallow well and tapping a spring. Shallow wells are normally dug just 1-2 metres from the surface by individual households to get water.

Farmers living near water sources are exposing the water sources to degradation, as evident from cultivation along river banks on streams and especially growing of vegetables; farming activities on steep slopes; planting of eucalyptus trees on streams, river banks and water points; intense sand harvesting stretching into the dam area causing sedimentation and siltation of water sources.

Streams and springs have been turned into farm lands and planted with eucalyptus trees, sugarcane and vegetables and 6 (six) water sources have completely dried up, and only yield water during rainy seasons. Shallow wells are surrounded by farming activities (plate 4.5), where the activities are taking place around and into the water sources. These sources are open to pollution, contamination and sedimentation from the surrounding land-use activities.

Due to encroachment on water sources, shallow wells are drying up very fast and especially during the dry season forcing people to continue digging deeper to get water due to the increasing demand and competing uses for water. Households interviewed during the study revealed that, they were spending considerable time (1-3 hours a day) searching for water (queuing at water points) and especially during the dry periods of the months of July to November.

Women and children are the most affected (plate 4.6). Considerable time could be going towards searching for water at the expense of education for children and other valuable economic activities at household level.

Majority of households (61%) relies on shallow wells for domestic water use and these shallow wells were noted to be located on individually owned pieces of land and are used on communal basis. The distance to these water sources is reasonable with majority of households 103 in number (45%) accessing water at a distance of 0.5 – 1 km, while 78 (34%) access water at less than 0.5 km (Table 4.10). These sources yield little amounts of water at times causing queues.

Table 4.10 – Distance to domestic water source

Distance to water sources Percent
<0.5 km 34.0
0.5-1 km 45.0
1-2 km 17.0
2-3 km 3.5
3-4 km 0.5
Total 100.0

 Source: Author, 2008

Figure 4.7, shows that majority of households (49%) use about 5 – 6 jericans (100-120 litres) of water daily, (23%) use 4 or less jericans (80 litres) a day and another (21%) use between 7 – 9 jericans (140 – 180 litres) per day. Assuming an average household of 6 persons, the daily individual water consumption would be about 18-22 litres per day which is within the recommended daily water consumption of 20 litres per day in a rural setting (UNDP, 2006).

The water consumption levels noted above were mainly for drinking, cooking and bathing. Washing of clothes was mostly been done at the water sources sites, a possible cause of source water contamination and pollution.

The whole sub-catchment did not have a single borehole as a source of water. This could be attributed to the fact that the area was considered to have plenty of surface and subsurface water from Muoni River, streams and springs during the 1990s, but now things have changed drastically to the negative. It was noted that streams and springs had been encroached by farming activities and planting high water consuming trees (eucalyptus trees). People interviewed felt that the removal of the eucalyptus trees could be the only option to safe the water sources from further degradation.

The venture of drilling of boreholes as an alternative source of water could be a very expensive venture given that the area is rocky with steep slopes of 46° degrees (run divided by rise angle). Movement of machinery could be very difficult and drilling through rocky areas a delicate undertaking for borehole drilling expert and investors.

Information availed by the divisional water officer indicated that, during the years of 1990s, Muoni sub-catchment had plenty of surface and subsurface water flow. Streams and springs had water throughout the year. One respondent a Mr. Mathew Mbithi confirmed this and said that, in some areas one could not walk across due to water logging and there was plenty of clean water in all streams and springs. But things started changing after the introduction of the eucalyptus tree species by the forestry department in 1999 to re-afforestate the deforested gazetted forest areas of the sub-catchment, and the planting spread into farmlands because of the fast maturity period of the eucalyptus tree.

The area is now experiencing water stress with certain water sources namely springs and shallow wells drying up (plate 4.7). Looking at the rate of flow and method of harnessing, it shows that water is becoming scarce. The scarcity is resulting to people using some unhygienic methods of harnessing water from a source which is quite unsafe and unhygienic such as the use of sisal leaves to direct water to jerricans.

Certain water sources mainly streams, springs and shallow wells were drying up. Out of the 230 respondents interviewed 142 (62%) indicated that a considerable number of water sources mainly streams, springs and shallow wells have ceased to exist and only yield water during the rain season (Table 4.11). The perceived reasons for their drying up were attributed to planting of high water use trees (eucalyptus trees) and lack of rainfall, with about 88 respondents (38%) indicating that, they did not know the causes of drying of these sources. Some of the sources mentioned by farmers to have dried up between 2003 and 2007 were Kathaiyoni stream, Mukuyuni spring, and Kwa Kala, Kwa Muindi and Kwa Kavoi shallow wells.

Table 4.11– Perceptions on why water sources ceased to exist

Causes Percentage
Lack of rainfall 17.0
Destruction of vegetation 3.0
Overdrawing of water 6.0
Population increase 0.5
Planting high water use trees 34.0
Construction on sources 0.5
Shift of water sources 1.0
Do not know 38.0
Total 100

 Source: Author, 2008

Possible cases of water contamination and pollution were noticeable, such as wastewater from coffee factories, use of fertiliser and chemicals from farming activities with poor disposal methods of chemical containers. There are three (3) coffee factories in the sub-catchment all located near water sources, for example Mutungoni coffee factory is located on the banks of Muoni river, Kyambio coffee factory is located on Kithambioni stream and Kaewa coffee factory is located on Mukuyuni spring.

This is due to the factories high water consumptive levels during coffee processing periods. These factories are key water polluters. They draw water from the river and stream/spring using electric and diesel pumps and emit their wastewater product back to the same water source causing a major pollution to the water sources. The factories normally have wastewater retention ponds which are not large enough to hold the voluminous wastewater released during coffee processing and once these ponds are filled up, the excess wastewater outflows into the river and streams.

Used chemical containers were seen lying on farmlands as observed during the study, farmers use chemicals and drop the chemical container on their farms. This was noted to be a possible cause of water pollution as these containers residues are washed away into water sources during periods of heavy downpour.

Information obtained from the divisional agricultural officer indicated that there were ongoing initiatives aimed at creating awareness on the best ways of disposing off used chemical containers to protect water sources from pollution and contamination. Farmers were being advised to dig pits not less than one meter deep on their farms, place the containers into these pits and cover them. Some farmers have picked up the initiative and are practicing these safe disposal methods.

A few individuals still dispose off used chemical cans haphazardly on their farms and some even draw water using chemically contaminated containers from the shallow wells, putting at risk the lives of other households who draw water from these sources for their domestic use. This calls for the need to bring the communities (households) together and re-emphasize on the importance of safe handling and disposal of chemicals and their containers.

As observed during the study, most water sources were not protected (plate 4.8). These sources are just open shallow wells which are not fenced off nor constructed to protect them from potential pollution and contamination exposing the consumers to possible water-related diseases.

Out of the 230 households interviewed, 150 (65.2%) indicated that they draw their water for domestic use from non-protected sources (figure 4.8), while the other 80 households (34.8%) said their water sources are protected through fencing or constructing concretes with an outlet pipe for drawing water. This puts the community (people) exposed to possible water related diseases. This could also be an indicator that awareness on safe water access and use has not reached the people, and this is possible in the absence of a Water Resources Users Association (WRUA) in the sub-catchment through which such awareness information can be disseminated to reach the community.

On the nature of water available, 4% of respondents interviewed said that they consider their sources for domestic use very clean, while 87% respondents consider their sources clean and the other 9% respondents consider their sources of water as dirty. Asked on what basis they considered water as clean or very clean, they said it was based on the appearance of water and that, they have not been affected by water-related diseases.

As regards households, water treatment and the treatment methods used, most households use untreated water (Table 4.12). It was noted that 31% of households interviewed treat water before use while 69% households use their water untreated, an indication that water-related diseases are not common in the area. The table also shows that out of the 72 households who treat water before use, 48 households treat water by boiling, 22 households use water-guard and the other 2 households use chlorination. The low numbers of households who treat water before use is an indication that there are low incidences of water-related diseases.

Table 4.12 – Water treatment and methods used

Treated water Percentage
Yes 31.0
No 69.0
Total 100.0
Treatment method Percent
Boiling 20
Water-guard 10
Chlorination 1
No treatment 69
Total 100.0

Source: Author, 2008

In the area of water utilization, households indicated that water demand was increasing very fast due to the growing population and different competing uses for water. The main causes of water use problem identified were over-drawing of water from water sources and encroachment on water sources reducing their discharge levels. Over-drawing was mainly for domestic use, irrigation and brick-making among other competing water uses.

Over-drawing was identified as the main water use problem in the sub-catchment (Table 4.13), where majority of respondents, that is 133 (58%) identified over-drawing (over-use) as the main cause of water use problem followed by encroachment of water sources 50 (22%). Sand harvesting and lack of protection of water sources were cited as the least causes of water problems in the catchment. 14 households (6%) indicated that, there were cases of some households blocking particular water sources for their own selfish use and especially streams and impounding the water for irrigation denying downstream user’s access. Two such cases were noted during the study.

Table 4.13 – Main causes of water use problems in Muoni sub-catchment

Causes Percent
Overdrawing/use 58.0
Selfishness 6.0
Destruction of vegetation 3.0
Encroachment 22.0
Sand harvesting 0.5
Pollution 2.0
Drought 5.5
Lack of protection of water source 0.5
High water use trees 1.0
Poor leadership 1.5
100

Source: Author, 2008

On ways of dealing with water use problems (figure 4.9), 115 (50%) households out of the 230 households interviewed said that, they seek alternative source when a particular source of water is experiencing problems such as over-drawing, encroached on or is polluted. Another 46 households (20%) said they fetch in shifts, while others opt to fetch water very early in the morning or late in the evening. This shows that the community has adapted to some coping mechanisms of dealing with water use problems.

4.5 Community-led initiatives in managing sub-catchment resources

One of key issues considered and evaluated during the study was the level of community involvement in the management of the sub-catchment resources. It was observed that community-led initiatives were at a very low level, and well-organized and strong community groups were non-existent. The few available organized groups were just self- help groups (SHGs) mostly formed by women dealing with issues outside management of the catchment’s resources such as the merry-go round groups (Miethya).

Considering the respondents interviewed, 53.5% indicated that they belong to a certain community self-help group while the other 46.5% did not belong to any group (Table 4.14).

Table 4.14 – Level of community self-help groups

Validity No. of Households Percent
Yes 123 53.5
No 107 46.5
Total 230 100.00

Source: Author, 2008

Out of the 53.5% respondents who belong to certain community self- help groups, only 13 households (5.7%) belong to water use led groups dealing with some kind of water resources management issues, 3 (1.3%) belong to a land-use groups such as sand mining and brick-making, 5 (2.2%) belong to education led groups and 102 (44.3%) to merry-go-round groups (Table 4.15).

Table 4.15 – Types of community self-help groups in the sub-catchment

Types of community SHG Percent
Land use SHG 1.3
Water use SHG 5.7
Education SHG 2.2
Merry- go SHG 44.3
Sub-total 53.5
Belong to no SHG 46.5
Total 100

Source: Author, 2008

Community involvement and participation in the management of the sub-catchment resources is quite low and this could be part of the reasons as to the sub-catchment’s water resources degradation, and especially through land use activities such as farming on river/stream banks and beds, pollution and contamination of water sources from siltation and wastewater from coffee factories, encroachment on water sources and points and planting of high water use trees.

In the area of water resources management (figure 4.10), 90% said that there were no management mechanisms in place to deal with water resource issues, 6% said the existing community self-help groups were doing some management while the other 4% said that a community-based organization known as BIDI Community Help Organization was assisting the community in managing the water resources.

Information sought from the offices of BIDI (Benevolent Institute of Development Initiatives) located at Machakos town revealed that, this was a community based organization (CBO) registered under the NGOs umbrella. It was the only CBO operating in Muoni catchment that deals with natural resources management issues. Its main activities involved working with the Muoni catchment community through community mobilization into groups, training and capacity building in the areas of good land management practices, water resources conservation and protection, and good leadership. It is also involved in training on soil conservation measures (terracing), establishment of tree nurseries and planting of indigenous trees among other environmental conservation initiatives.

Considerable progress and success was noted through the BIDI Community Help Initiative in assisting community to tackle the water resources use problem though at low pace due to the vastness of the sub-catchment. Digging and constructing shallow wells, establishing tree nurseries and encouraging the community to form water self-help groups to run and manage these water sources were some of the activities noted. One of the successful women groups noted and visited was the Muuo Women group which runs Muuo water supply from Yamboli stream with assistance from BIDI Community Help Initiative. There were other three women groups picking up and were also receiving assistance from this organization.

The Muuo Women group has a total of 34 members and they have established tree nurseries with different tree species including fruit trees. The women group supplies these seedlings to their members to plant on their farms and sells others to earn some income to support their group.

In the area of the sub-catchment natural resources management, there was a divergence of views on the best option of assisting the community to sustainably manage and utilize the sub-catchment resources. Majority felt CBOs would be the best option, and a considerable number were not committal on the best preferred option (Table 4.16), 52.6% preferred CBOs as a suitable management structure for the sub-catchment natural resources, while 1.3% preferred NGOs, 0.9% preferred government-led management initiative and another 0.9% preferred individual-led initiative. The remaining 102 respondents (43.3%) said they do not know (non-committal) which natural resources management structure would apply suitably in the sub-catchment.

Table 4.16 – Suggested types of management initiatives by the community

Suggested types of management initiative Percent
CBOs 52.6
NGOs 1.3
Government 0.9
Individual 0.9
None committal (do not know) 43.3
Total 100

Source: Author, 2008

Based on the 121 respondents (52.6%) preferred CBOs as natural resources management structure, it shows that the community is becoming aware that the best way to realize a sustainable natural resources management is through their involvement and participation through Community Based Organization (CBOs). But this will require concerted efforts in sensitizing and creating awareness on the role of communities and their involvement in catchment resource management and protection given that, 102 respondents (43.3%) did not know what should be done in the area on natural resource management.

As regards water management initiatives taking place in the sub-catchment (figure 4.11), 93 (40%) respondents could not give any rating (non-committal) to the current water use initiatives‟ going on towards ensuring water is available in good quality and quantity. Only 9 respondents (4%) rated the initiatives as very adequate, 34 respondents (15%) adequate, 56 respondents (24%) moderately adequate, 35 respondents (15%) poor and 3 respondents (2%) very poor. This shows that the community may not be very much concerned with what goes on in the field of water resource management in the sub-catchment.

As regards the measures the community expects to see in the area of water resource use and management (Table 4.17). It was noted that 73 respondents (31.8%) felt that the government should play a leading role in the distribution of water to communities, and especially piped water. Other 42 (18.2%) respondents preferred protection of water sources, while 35 (15.3%) preferred community-led management initiatives. This negates the principle and objectives of the water sector reforms of empowering communities to own and manage their water resources at catchment level. This either means that the community is not aware of the ongoing water reforms and the roles communities are supposed to play or the community is not appreciative of the water sector reforms altogether. Hence the need for fostering the creation of a “Water Resource Users Association” (WRUA) in the sub-catchment through which awareness creation on water sector reforms and the principles of IWRM can be disseminated to the community and empower them to take a lead role in the protection and management of the sub-catchment resources.

Table 4.17 – Suggested water improvement measures on water access

Water improvement methods Percent
Protection of water sources 18.2
Community water management 15.3
Construction of dams 9.0
Government distributes piped water 31.8
Construction of water tanks 14.7
Ban of planting of eucalyptus trees 3.5
Ban sand harvesting 1.1
Sinking boreholes 6.4
Total 100

Source: Author, 2008

The belief by the community that, the government should take central role in the management and provision of water services contradicts the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management, and especially principle No. 3 which states that, “water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policy-makers at all levels” (GWP, 2000). Water is a subject in which everyone is a stakeholder and real participation and involvement can only take place when stakeholders are part of the decision-making process. Arising from the these results, there is need for the institutions responsible for creating and making the necessary mechanisms for community participation and involvement in resource management in Muoni sub-catchment to intensify and create the necessary awareness on the role of communities in catchment’s resources management at catchment and community levels. This can best be achieved through the Athi water resources management authority on which the jurisdiction of the Muoni sub-catchment falls.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

This study, which sought to examine the effects of land use on water resource availability in Muoni sub-catchment, draws up a number of findings. The following are a summary of the findings of the study.

5.2 Summary of Findings

The study identified various land-use activities practiced in the sub-catchment at different levels. These include cash crop farming mainly coffee, food crops farming, animal keeping, tree planting (eucalyptus, grevillea, pine, cyprus and fruit trees), sand harvesting, water harvesting and brick making. These activities are practiced at different range and extent depending on land sizes which range between 0.5 acres to 5 acres. Coffee was found to be the only cash crop grown in the catchment for commercial purposes. The food crops grown are mainly for domestic food requirements.

It was found that, all the land-use activities identified during the study in the sub-catchment depend on water as their primary input. The main source of water for these land-use activities was found to be rainfall, and especially farming activities. Only 15% of the households in the sub-catchment were doing some form of irrigation on their farms.

The study identified 30 water sources in the sub-catchment namely Muoni dam, Muoni river, the 6 streams feeding the Muoni river from different directions, 9 springs and 13 shallow wells. The Muoni community was found to be depending on these water sources for their domestic water requirement with limited irrigation from these sources. Rain water (rainfall) was found to be the main sources of water for the agricultural related land use activities.

The sub-catchment underground water sources had not been exploited through drilling of boreholes to supplement the surface water sources. It was also found out that, once the rainy season is over, water availability starts becoming a problem because of drying of surface water sources such as shallow wells and springs, and especially during the month of June-October every year. This was as a result of encroachment and degradation of these water sources through land use activities.

The study found that, 6 of the 30 water sources identified had dried up as a result of the effects of land use activities and only yields water during the rain seasons. Of the 6 sources affected 1 was a stream, 2 springs and 3 shallow wells.

On the effects land use activities on water sources, the study found that agricultural land-use activities were affecting the quality and ability of water sources to retain and discharge water. For example, Kathaiyoni stream, Mukuyuni spring and Kwa Kala, Kwa

Muindi and Kwa Kavoi shallow wells dried up due to farming activities and planting of eucalyptus trees around and into the edges of these water sources.

Intense growing of vegetables and sugarcane along and near water sources for easy access to water for irrigation was very common in the sub-catchment. This was found to be a potential cause of sedimentation, contamination and pollution of water sources from fertilizers and chemicals used.

Shallow wells were found to be open and not protected exposing them to pollution and contamination from people and animals. Another example is the Muoni dam which is not fenced and people move their animals to graze around and drink water direct from the dam exposing it to contamination and pollution from animal droppings.

Muoni dam was identified as the only main source of piped water in the sub-catchment. The dam was constructed with a capacity of 836 m3 in 1986, but the capacity had reduced to 450 m3 according to officials from the Ministry of Water Resources as a result of siltation arising from poor land use activities upstream and around the dam. According to water experts from the Ministry of Water Resources and Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA), the dam could cease to exist in 5 years time if the problem of siltation is not addressed. However, plans are under way to seek funding from the Ministry of Water and the Community Development Fund (CDF) to a tune of Kshs300 million to desilt the dam and put up check dam up stream.

Three (3) coffee factories namely Mutungoni, Kyambio and Kaewa factories were found to be located at the edges of Muoni river, Kithambioni stream and Mukuyuni spring respectively due to their high water consumption level during coffee processing. The wastewater retention ponds once filled up were spilling the excess wastewater into the river and stream polluting the water. Uncontrolled disposal of used chemical containers (dumped on farmlands) for spraying coffee and vegetables was also found to be a possible cause of pollution to water sources.

Community participation and involvement in water resource management was found to be very low in the sub-catchment. Catchment area advisory committees (CAACs) and water resources users associations (WRUAs) do not exist in the sub-catchment. The few organized self help groups were dealing with issues outside water resource management. There was only one community-based organization namely Benevolent Institute of Development Initiatives (BIDI) operating as a non-governmental organization dealing with natural resources management issues at a small scale.

5.3 Conclusions

This study draws the following conclusions:

  1. Water resource plays a central and critical role in supporting land-use activities for food production in Muoni sub-catchment. Every piece of land has been put under intense agricultural use including and extending to fragile ecological areas and riparian buffer zones of the sub-catchment, and therefore, threatening the ecological functions and future survival of these areas.
  2. Use of surface water through shallows wells, springs and streams is the main source of community water supply. Underground water sources through drilling of boreholes have not been exploited, through plans were underway to cite and drill three 3 borehole to supplement the piped water from Muoni dam and reduced on over-drawing of water from the dam.
  3. Water discharge levels from the sub-catchment water sources is falling very fast with some sources drying up as a result of uncontrolled land-use activities and encroachment into water sources. Sedimentation and pollution of water sources from land use activities is very common and especially through soil erosion, poor disposal of used chemical containers and wastewater discharged from coffee factories.
  4. The level of community involvement and participation in Water Resources Management is very low. This is because the catchment area advisory committees, water resources users associations, the entry point to community participation and involvement in catchment resources management do not exist.
  5. Community led initiatives towards controlling water resource degradation in sub-catchment were taking place, though at a low pace. Such initiatives identified were, the re-introduction of planting of indigenous tree species to replace the eucalyptus trees, construction and fencing of shallow wells. This was aimed at reclaiming the fragile ecological areas and riparian buffer zones to restore ecological functions of the sub-catchment water resources.

5.4 Recommendations

The study makes the following recommendations:

  1. Land-use activities need to be regulated by enforcing the „no farming activities‟ regulations or requirements within 30 metres from a water source by the divisional agricultural and water officers in line with the Agriculture Act CAP 318, Water Act 2002 and the Water Resources Management Authority catchments‟ management guidelines . This will ensure the current degradation of land and water sources is controlled and those areas and sources that have dried up are reclaimed and restored. This requires also demarcation of all ecological and riparian buffer zones, eucalyptus trees planted near and around water sources removed and replaced with indigenous trees where necessary and coffee factories located on water sources relocated.
  2. There is need to review and harmonize different Acts and Legislations especially the Forestry Act, the Agricultural Act, Environment Act and the Water Act 2002 in order to clearly spell out roles and responsibilities of Government institutions responsible for catchment resources protection and management and remove duplications and conflicts in roles and responsibilities among these institutions. This will help in examining the relevance, validity and applicability of these legislations to the current national situations and circumstances in terms of population dynamic cum poverty levels verses natural resources protection and management.
  3. To regulate water demand and use in Muoni sub-catchment, there is a need for the creation of catchment area advisory committee (CAAC) water resource users association (WRUA) in that sub-catchment for better management of the sub-catchment water resources. This will not only create awareness on water scarcity and solve water conflicts among user, but also make strategic plans for water allocation and distribution. This mechanism is expected to create an environment that is conducive to equitable water distribution, which in turn, enhances rational water use by the local community and stakeholders for different uses and narrow the gap between up-stream and down-stream users. This will also ensure sustainable water use for present and future generations, and control water conflicts through fair share of the resources in case of scarcity (UNEP, 1997).
  4. The community should be sensitized on the on-going water sector reforms regarding community roles and responsibilities and also on Integrated Water Resources Management issues (IWRM) as envisaged in the IWRM principles and facilitated by the area water resources management authority to form their sub-catchment area advisory committees and water resources users associations for better management of the sub-catchment resources. Part of the funds earmarked for desilting of Muoni dam and putting up check dams upstream should be used on training the community of best land use practices to control soil erosion and sedimentation on water sources.
  5. Responsible institutions for catchment protection and management such as the Athi water resources management authority should organize study and exchange tours to areas where CAACs and WRUAs initiatives have succeeded to help the Muoni community appreciate the gains of sustainable catchment resources management such as the Bwathonaro Water Resources Users Association (BWARUA) under Ngaciuma-Kinyaritha Watershed in Meru, Kenya (DAAD Alumni Summer School, 2007). This will also help the community gain knowledge and awareness on catchment water resources management in order to control and reverse the current trend of resources degradation in the Muoni sub-catchment.

5.5 Suggestions for further study

Based on the extent of the study, and the understanding of the sub-catchment area, the following areas are recommended for further research:-

  1. Contribution of coffee farms on pollution loading into Muoni dam, and its associated environmental health effects.
  2. Extent and levels of pollution from the coffee factories located along Muoni River, Kithambioni stream and Mukuyuni spring.

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Obando, J. A. (2005). Modeling Soil Erosion and Vegetation Change in Forch G., Ruger Winnegge, and Stefan Thiemann, (Eds.), DAAD Alumni Summer School, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany. Pg 117-128

Olson, J. M., Campbell, D. J., Misana, S., Mbonile, M. and Mugisha, M. (2004). A Research Framework to Identify the Root Causes of Land Use Change Leading to Land Degradation and Changing Biodiversity. Land Use Change Impacts Dynamics (LUCID) No. 48, International Livestock Research Institute. Nairobi, Kenya.

Reid, R. S., Woren, J., Mugatha, S. M. and Maitima, J. M. (2004). Linkages between Changes in Land Use, Biodiversity and Land Degradation in the Loitokitok Area of Kenya. Land Use Change Impacts Dynamics (LUCID) No. 49. International Livestock Research Institute. Nairobi, Kenya

Republic of Kenya (2008a). Economic Survey, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, The Government printer, Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2008b). First Medium Term Plan 2008-2012. Kenya Vision 2030. A Globally Competitive and Prosperous Kenya. Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Planning, National Development and vision 2030: Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2008c). Annual Water Sector Performance Report 2008, Increasing access to water and sanitation to the underserved. Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2007a). Kenya Vision 2030. A globally Competitive and Prosperous Kenya, Ministry of Planning and National Development Nairobi: Government Printer, Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2007b). The National Water Services Strategy. Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Nairobi: Government Printer, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2007c). Water Sector Reform in Kenya and the Human Right to Water. Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2007d). Athi Catchment Management Strategy: Athi Water Catchment Area, Water Resources Management Authority, Machakos, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2006). The National Water Resources Management Strategy. Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Nairobi: Government Printer.

Republic of Kenya (2005). Geographic Dimensions of Well-Being in Kenya. Who and Where are the Poor. A Constituency Level Profile, Volume II. Ministry of Planning and National Development, Central Bureau of Statistics Nairobi: Government Printer Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2004). Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture 2004-2014. Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Nairobi: Government Printer, Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya (2002). Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 107 (Acts No. 9). The Water Act 2002, Nairobi: Government Printer.

Republic of Kenya (2000). The 1999 population census, Central Bureau of Statistics, Nairobi: Government Printer

Republic of Kenya (1999). National Policy on Water Resources Management and Development, Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1999. Nairobi: Government Printer.

Republic of Kenya (1967). The Survey of Kenya, Top-sheet 149/4 Series Y731: East Africa 1:50,000. Survey of Kenya 2000/1/96, Nairobi: Government Printer.

Republic of Kenya (1965). The Agriculture Act, CAP 318. An Act of parliament to promote and maintain a stable agriculture. Ministry of Agriculture, Government Printer, Nairobi, Kenya.

Shisanya, C. A. (2005). An Analysis of Accessibility and Pricing of Water Supply in Rural Watersheds: A Case study of Kakamega District, Kenya in Forch G., Ruger Winnegge, and Stefan Thiemann, (Eds.), DAAD Alumni Summer School, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany. Pg 161-172

Salkind, N.J. (1996). Statistics For People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics. (2nd Ed). New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Terer, J. (2004). The Study of Hydrologic Characteristics and Management Practices in Agricultural River Catchments: The case of Nyongores River Catchment, Mara River Basin, Kenya

Tiffen, M., Mortimore, M. and Gichuki, F. (1994). More People Less Erosion. Environmental Recovery in Kenya. Nairobi: Acts Press,

UNDP (2006). Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and Global Water Crisis. The United Nations Human Development Report New York: the United Nations Department of Public Information.

UNEP (1997). The Fair Share Water Strategy for Sustainable Development in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya.

Wakhungu, J.W., Huggins, C. and Nyukuri, E. (2008). Land tenure and violent conflict in Kenya. African Centre for Technology Studies, Nairobi, Kenya.

World Commission on Water (2007). World Water Vision: Making Water everybody‟s Business. A global water movement for water secure world. World Water Forum. Geneva, Switzerland.

WRMA (2009). Water Resources Management Authority 2008/09 Performance Contract Report. Nairobi, Kenya.

 

APPENDICES

Appendix I: Household Interview Questionnaire

Dear Respondent,

This is a kind request to you to accept to complete this research questionnaire. I am a postgraduate student of Kenyatta University currently taking a Master of Science degree in Integrated Watershed Management in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences. Your views and responses are very valuable and will be held in confidence and used for academic purposes only. Please attempt to answer all the questions and raise as many valuable suggestions as possible.

Thanking you in advance and May God guide and bless you abundantly as you fill and complete this questionnaire,

Yours

Peter M. Musuva

Postgraduate Student

Kenyatta University

Location and Identification

District
Division
Location
Sub Location
Village
Interviews
Name of interviewer
Date of interview
Checked by

Observations Checklist of Homesteads

General appearance of homes (clean, dirty)
General appearance of people (health)
Mode of clothing and hygiene
Housing (cemented, roofing, walling)
Sanitation (pit latrine, convectional system)
Roof catchments
Storage tanks – type

uestions

No. Description Codes/Answers Remarks
Section A : Household Information
A1 Name of Household Person Interviewed
A2 Age bracket of household head Codes

1 = Elderly (above 50 yrs)

2 = Medium age ( 30-50)

3 = Young adult (20-30)

A3 Sex of the household head Codes

1 = male

2=female

A4 Household Composition Number No of Males No of Female

 

Section B: Land Use

B1 Size of the land Codes

1 = less than 1 acre

2 =1-2 acres

3= 2-3 acres

4 = 3-4 acres

5 = 4 and above

B2 Who owns the land? Codes

1= Father

2= Mother

3= Brother

4= Sister

5 = Other (specify)

B3 What type of land use activities do you practice on your piece of land?

(crop farming = cash crops (coffee etc), food crops (maize, beans, vegetables etc)

Codes

1 = Crop farming (rain fed)

2 = Crop farming (irrigation)

3 = Animal keeping

4 = Tree planting

5 = Sand harvesting

6= Water harvesting

7= Other (specify)

B4 Which is your main agricultural land use activity Codes

1 = Crop farming (rain fed)

2 = Crop farming (irrigation)

3 = Animal keeping

4 = Tree planting

5= Other (specify)

B5 What is your source of water for these land use activity Codes

1 = Rainfall

2 = Dam

3 = River/streams

4 = Ponds

5 = Spring

6 = Shallow well

7= Others (specify)

B6 What is the proximity of your land use activity to the source of water? Codes

1= Less than 20m

2= More than 20m

B7 Have you been experiencing any decline of the water sources level as a result of these land use activities Codes

1 = Yes

2 = No

B8 If Yes, the decline has been as a result of which land use activity Codes

1 = Crop farming (irrigation)

2 = Animal keeping

3 = Tree planting

4 = Sand harvesting

5 = Other (specify)

B9 What measures do you use on your land to improve productivity? Codes

1= Manure

2= Fertilizers

3= Chemicals

4= Other(specify)

B10 Do you think the use of fertilizers and chemicals of farms affects water sources/points Codes

1 = Yes

2 = No

B11 If yes, how do they affect the water sources/points Codes

1 = Pollute

2 = Contaminate

3 = Make water unsafe to use

4 = Others (specify)

B12 What type of land use problems do you experience? Codes

1 = Soil erosion

2 = Destruction of vegetation

3 = Farming on streams & rivers

4 = encroachment of water sources

5 = overgrazing

6 = other (specify)

B13 How do you tackle the above land use problems? Codes

1 = Terracing

2 = Gabions

3 = Strip grassing

4 = Agro forestry

5 = Tree planting

6 = other (specify)

B14 What do you think are the likely effects of your land use activities on water sources? Codes

1=over use/high demand

2= pollution of water sources

3= sedimentation of water sources

4= over extraction by high water use trees

5= Other(specify)

 

Section C – Water Resources
C1 What is your source of water for domestic use? Codes

1= River/stream

2= Borehole

3= Piped

4= Dam

5= Spring

6= Shallow well

7= Roof catchment

8 = Ponds

9= Others (specify)

C2 Is the source of water protected (fenced and constructed with outlet taping point) Codes

1= Yes

2= No

C3 What is the distance from your home to the domestic water source? Codes

1= Less than ½ km

2= ½-1 km

3= 1-2 km

4= 2-3 km

5= 3-4 km

6= More than 4 km

C4 What is your daily levels of domestic water use (1Jelican = 20litres) Codes

1 = above 10 Jericans

2 = 9-7

3 = 6-4

4 = below 4 Jericans

C5 How is the nature of the water source? Codes

1 = very clean

2 = clean

3 = dirty

4 = Others (specify)

C6 Do you treat the water in anyway before use Codes

1= Yes

2= No

C7 If Yes, How? Codes

1 = Boiling

2 = Use of water guard

3 = Use of chemicals (chlorine)

4 = Others (specify)

C8 Are there water sources that have ceased to exist on your land? Codes

1= Yes

2= No

C9 If yes, what caused the source(s) to dry up? Codes

1 = lack of rainfall

2 = destruction of vegetation

3 = over drawing of water

4 = increase in population

5 = planting of high water use trees

6 = Others (specify)

C10 What are the main causes of water problems in this area? Codes

1 = Over drawing and use

2 = Ownership (selfishness)

3 = Destruction of vegetation

4 = Encroachment of water sources

5 = Sand harvesting

6 = Pollution

7 = other (specify

C11 How do you deal with these problems? Codes

1 = Report to Authorities

2 = Seek alternative sources

3 = Plant more trees

4 = Organize into groups to protect of water sources

5 = other (specify

Section D – Community-led Initiatives

D1 Do you belong to any community self-help group (community-led grouping) Codes

1 = Yes

2 = No

D2 If Yes, which type Codes

1 = Land use led grouping

2 = Water use led grouping

3 = Educational led grouping

4 = Merry go round grouping

5 = Others (specify)

D3 Is your community self-help group dealing with land and water resources use management issues Codes

1 = Yes

2 = No

D4 If Yes, how do you manage your water sources Codes

1 = Community self-help groups

2 = Community based organizations

3 = Water users‟ associations

4 = catchment management committee

5 = None

D5 Are there any initiatives (measures) being undertaken to manage water resources? Codes

1 = Yes

2 = No

D6 If yes, which initiatives Codes

1 = Community

2 = NGO

3 = Government

4 = Others (specify)

D7 In your opinion, how do you rate the initiatives taken to ensure water is available to everyone and in good quality and quantity Codes

1 = Very adequate

2 = Adequate

3 = Moderately adequate

4 = Poor

5 = Very poor

6 = I don‟t know

D8 What improvements would you like to see regarding water resources use and management? Codes

1 = Protection of water sources (fencing)

2 = Community work together to manage water resources

3 = Construction of dams to increase water availability

4 = Government to distribute piped water to people

5 = I don‟t know

6 = Others (specify)

Note: Only one answer allowed in each category in order of priority

 A study on the Effects of Land Use on Water Resource Availability in Muoni Sub-Catchment, Machakos District, Kenya

Part 2 – Questionnaire to Institutions

  1. Which institution do you work with _________________________________
  2. How long have you worked as a government staff or NGOs staff in Muoni sub-catchment _________
  3. What are your specific duties as relates to the overall sub-catchment management ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. How is the trend of conservation and management of Muoni sub-catchment areas as compared to previous years? ________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. What indicators support your answers above? ____________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. How do you rate the success of Muoni sub-catchment conservation and management (a) Very successful (b) Fairly successful (c) Poor
  7. If fairly successful or poor, what factors are responsible ____________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. In your own opinion, what are some of the land use and water resources management challenges in the sub-catchment _________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. How are you tackling these challenges _____________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. What are the main types of water sources in the sub-catchment _______________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

  1. Has there been a decline in water availability in the sub-catchment over the last few years_____________, what is causing the decline______________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. What are the main land use activities in the sub-catchment ______________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. How do the land use activities such as settlements, irrigation, use of fertilizers and chemicals on farms, tree planting and sand harvesting among others affect water sources in the sub-catchment __________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. What measures can you suggest of addressing the negative effects of land use activities on water availability in the sub-catchment ________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. Do we have community led sub-catchment management initiatives ___________, how effective are these initiatives____________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. What measures are you undertaking to strengthen these initiatives_____________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please feel free to use extra sheets of paper and attach together with this questionnaire

 A study on the Effects of Land Use on Water Resource Availability in Muoni Sub-Catchment, Machakos District, Kenya

Part 3 – Secondary Data Questionnaire

1) Types of water sources located in Muoni Sub-Catchment

  1. = Rivers
  2. = Streams
  3. = Boreholes
  4. = Piped
  5. = Dams
  6. = Springs
  7. = Shallow wells
  8. = Ponds
  9. = others (specify)

2) Name of Sources

3) Numbers over a period of five years

4) Location and distribution

5) Yields over time

6) Numbers of those that have ceased to exist and reasons

7) Number of people the source serves

8) Changes in population overtime

9) Maps showing the location and distribution of water sources

10) Any other useful information/data

 

Appendix II: Mapped Water Sources and Points in Muoni sub-catchment

Name of water source Type No. of months with water Status of the water sources
Muoni Earth Dam Dam 12 months – Only dam in the sub-catchment

– Capacity reducing due to siltation as from 2002.

– Deforestation and poor farming methods result to soil erosion.

– designed to serve about 20,000 people.

Muoni River River 12 months – used for domestic and irrigation

– banks cultivated and eroded

– sand harvesting along the river

Kikuyuni Stream 12 months – used for domestic water

– long queues at sources

– source banks planted with eucalyptus trees

Mutungoni Stream 12 months -main source of Muoni Dam through Muoni river

-yield reduced due to deforestation of the sub-catchment and planting of eucalyptus trees

Kithambioni Stream 12 months – stream feeds Muoni river

– stream yield falling down due to over use

– stream polluted by effluent from coffee factory

Yamboli Stream 12 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– source banks and beds cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Muoni Stream 12 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– yield has reduced since 2006 due to cultivation and planting of eucalyptus trees

Kathaiyoni Stream 5 months – used for domestic and irrigation

– source banks eroded, cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

– source started drying up in 2003

Muikambe Spring 12 months -piped source serving about 500 people

-supply decreasing due to increasing population.

Vulu Spring 9 months – used for domestic

– yields stated falling in 2003 due to deforestation of the sub-catchment, cultivation along the spring banks and bed, and planting of eucalyptus trees

Mukuyuni Spring 5 months -spring dried 2003

-used to serve about 300 people

-deforestation main cause

Mukongoloni Spring 12 months -serves about 200 people

-yield has reduced due to deforestation and planting of eucalyptus trees

Mukongolo Spring 12 months – used for domestic water

– cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kalandini Spring 4 months – used for domestic water

– source started drying in 2005

– cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Makau Spring 10 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– water yield stated reducing in 2005 due to encroachment

Kwa Nzana Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water

– sources degraded due to farming activities

Kwa Katola Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– cultivated along the banks

Kwa Nthongo Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic and minor irrigation

– well edges (banks) cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Ngulutu Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic and minor irrigation

– source edges cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Nduli Shallow well 10 months – used for domestic water

– water yield started reducing in 2007 due to cultivation and planting of eucalyptus trees

Kwa Muindi Shallow well 6 months – used for domestic water

– started drying up in 2006 due to encroachment

– source cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Kala Shallow well 4 months – used for domestic water

– source started drying in 2004

– source cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Mutongoni Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water

– source edges cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Kavili Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water

– source cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Mutuna Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– source edges cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Kasimba Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water

– source well conserved (constructed) and areas

planted with indigenous trees

Kwa Ilia Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– cultivation taking place around the source

Kwa Kavoi Shallow well 6 months – used for domestic water

– source started drying up in 2004

– source cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Ngoyo Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water and minor irrigation

– source cultivated and planted with eucalyptus trees

Kwa Makatha Shallow well 12 months – used for domestic water

– cultivation of crops around the source

– tree nurseries established at the source

 

This project work was originally submitted by PETER M. MUSUVA   in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of degree of Master of Science in Integrated Watershed Management in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences of Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

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