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Lund University (2009)

Prospects and Limitations of Integrated Watershed Management In Kenya : A Case Study of Mara Watershed.

Wamalwa, Isaac Wafula

Titre : Prospects and Limitations of Integrated Watershed Management In Kenya : A Case Study of Mara Watershed.

Auteur : Wamalwa, Isaac Wafula

Université de soutenance  : Lund University.

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2009

For several decades, Integrated Watershed Management has been suggested and tried in several countries in the world, as an effective way to address complex water resource challenges. However its implementation has not been successful in most cases, due to various barriers. In Kenya, this approach is new and requires appropriate strategies to overcome these barriers and stimulate effective integrated watershed management. To design suitable and effective strategies, there is need to understand institutional features at various spatial levels, which promote or hinder integration and coordination. This paper therefore explores the prospects and barriers of integrated watershed management of Mara, by examining the existing complex set of biophysical and socio-economic conditions, stakeholders attitudes and perceptions, arrangements for participation of stakeholders, available institutional structures and financial plans, and recent policy reforms in water and forestry sectors. Empirical information was gathered from official documents, direct observations, semi-structured interviews with managers, administrators, politicians and households of Mara watershed. Results indicates that, integrated watershed management of Mara is likely to be fostered by the critical biophysical and socioeconomic conditions, suitable institutional structures that are being established, water and forestry reforms, recognition of stakeholder participation and enhanced education of stakeholders, and leverage of resources from NGOs. However this efforts are likely to be hampered by disparity of views and perspectives, egoistic tendencies of influential leaders, inadequate financial plans, lack of effective coordination mechanisms, ineffective multi-stakeholder process, unwillingness of the local community and the politicians if there interests are not addressed, and lack of legitimacy for the institutional structures that are being created. This study therefore suggests adoption of multi-stakeholder forums for building understanding and bridging the disparity of views, the need to address the legitimate interests of the local community and politicians, and enhanced level of understanding among stakeholders on the interactions and interdependencies among the variables of the ecosystem. Finally the study recommends the need for a more effective coordination arrangement such as elevation of the CAAC to the level of a coordinating agency instead of relying on a single government agency like WRMA as provided for by the water act 2002 at the catchment level. In conclusion as much as the new water sector reforms provide legitimacy, impetus and a framework for integrated watershed management in Mara and other water catchments in Kenya, implementation may still remain a challenge if barriers are not identified and addressed.

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