Water access challenges and coping strategies in selected sites of Makueni county, Kenya



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Archives of Current Research International


Makueni County is extremely vulnerable to climate change because its production systems are climate sensitive, and many people are unable to cope up with climatic stress. The aim of this study was to establish water scarcity coping strategies used by rural communities in Kilili sub-location in Makueni sub-county and Kyanguli sub-location in Kibwezi East sub-county, all located Makueni County. The broad objective of the study was to identify water sources, access challenges and coping mechanisms in selected sites in Makueni County. The study also documented institutions promoting water resources and coping mechanisms and hence water access in the selected sites of the County. The study adopted cluster sampling and simple random approach to gather quantitative data using household surveys. A total of 70 households in two selected sites were interviewed. The collected data was coded and entered into the computer for analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented using tables. Results obtained on water sources revealed that rivers were the major sources of water (78%) across the study site followed by shallow wells (31%) (SD=23.5). Most households (46%) in both sites could access water within 1-3km (SD=2.5). Five major water access problems were documented in the study sites and in overall, scarcity of water was the most common problem in both study sites (77%) (SD=9.5). In the study areas, there were five institutions which influenced coping mechanisms and uptake of adaptation measures and among them were the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs). Within the study sites the commonest found institutions were the NGOs (69%) (SD=25.5) followed by CBOs (23%). The commonest technology adopted in curbing water scarcity was sand dams (71%) (SD=4.5). Results of this study can be used by the ministry of water to address water challenges in the selected sites of Makueni. Successful technologies can be rolled out to address water challenges in other dry areas in the greater Makueni County.