COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF HARVESTED WATER RUNOFF IN MARIGAT DIVISION, KENYA
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University of Eldoret
Water is vital to basic livelihoods and economic growth. Marigat division, Baringo County, Kenya experiences water scarcity during the dry periods, a situation that is further aggravated by droughts and erratic rains. During the rainy seasons, a lot of water is lost as runoff which can be harvested and stored in water reservoirs and used for domestic and livestock throughout the dry seasons. This study seeks to identify the source, the reliability of water sources, investigate the willingness of the community to participate in harnessing water runoff, determine suitable sites of water pans for harvesting runoff water to meet Marigat‟s water demand and propose a water supply network for the Marigat community. The study adopts a survey research design. The study was based on systems theory of planning, where smaller components interrelate within and at their hierarchical level. The sampling procedure was based on stratified random sampling size of 383 household heads and 10 key informants. Questionnaires were distributed to the household heads using stratified random sampling while interview schedule were used to obtain information from Focus Group Discussions and key informants. Data was cleaned, coded and entered into SPSS and analysis conducted as per the objectives. Weighted overlay suitability analysis within Geographical Information System (GIS) was used to site the potential sites of water reservoirs, weightings were assigned to each criterion depending upon their relative significance. Water Evaluation and Planning System model (WEAP 21) was used to determine whether the water to be harvested was able to meet the Marigat community‟s water demand thus, a scenario was built from the reference scenario; Creation of new water pans. The results of the reference scenario were validated using observed flows at Marigat Bridge station and WEAP 21 was also used to come up with a water supply network. The research findings indicated that the main source of water in Marigat was surface water from the river. The water sources were not reliable and they are sparse. In addition, the Marigat community has the willingness to harness water runoff and there was significant association between water scarcity and willingness to contribute to the harvesting of water runoff. The results show that with the creation of proposed five new water pans for harvesting runoff in areas facing water scarcity, the unmet domestic and livestock water demand is met up to 2020. There are suitable sites for construction of water pans in the study area. Some of the organizations involved in efforts to avail enough water resources to the Marigat community are: The World Vision, Marigat Child and Care Program (MCPF), Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and Kenya Rainwater Association. The study will add to the body of knowledge on water resources planning and management skill to alleviate the problem of water shortage especially in dry areas like the study area.