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University of Passau (2006)

Water conflicts in Kenya - Asymmetric water conflict in the Athi River Basin

Geiger Gerhard

Titre : Water conflicts in Kenya - Asymmetric water conflict in the Athi River Basin

Auteur : Gerhard Geiger

Grade : Diplomarbeit, 2006

Université : University of Passau

The development in the Athi River Basin and, particularly the construction of the 2ndMzima Pipeline calls for a structured approach to the basin’s management, that support sustainable socio-economic development in the region. In this regard, this paper recognizes the concept of sustainable development and its core values in the context of freshwater. The objective of the sustainable development of water resources is that economic and social development should be both equitable and efficient, while protection, preservation and enhancement of natural ecosystems is ensured (Agenda 21, 1992). The core values of the concept of sustainable development, which have been identified and reviewed by Rieu-Clarke (2000 : p. 573), are : A Holistic Approach to Freshwater Management, Ecosystem Protection, Water as an Economic Good and Full Cost Recovery, Water Resource Assessment, and Public Participation. Each of these core values will be explicitly described and referred to in the following chapters The second chapter tries to review elements of "water governance" that are necessary to sustainable development and management of water resources. In order to find a solution for asymmetric water conflicts in the Athi River Basin by achieving an equitable, efficient and environmental sustainable water allocation system, this study uses an interdisciplinary approach, which draws from three disciplines : 1 Ecology is the discipline that proposes to use a river basin approach for the management of water resources. Integrated Water Resources Management strategies (GWP 2000) follow this approach and aim at integrating all water using sectors within a river basin to wisely manage its waters 2 Economics may provide a frame for most efficient use of water resources in the Athi River Basin (GWP 2003) 3 Politics is the context, where scientifically and internationally acknowledged water allocation rules for international transboundary river basins have been developed. The most popular allocation mechanisms for internationally shared water resources are provided by the so- called Helsinki Rules and ILC Rules. Once down-scaled from international to national level and applied to the Athi River Basin, this allocation rules are supposed to guarantee equitable and reasonable sharing of water resources between co-riparian districts - in the best case Each of the three disciplines provides information on experiences made in river basins worldwide from intents to solve water conflicts The third chapter describes the status of the Athi River Basin. General information includes the physical environment with topography, climate, soils and land cover. Socio-economic information is provided about population, land tenure and land use patterns. Furthermore, there are data on the economy and poverty situation in the Athi River Basin. These introductory and general informations are necessary to better understand problems in the river basins’ water sector. Specific information on the water sector in Kenya and especially the Athi River Basin can also be obtained in chapter three. Both data on water availability and water quality may provide a basis for water sharing negotiations and water allocation decisions. This paper also gives an overview on the main water using sectors in the river basin. To assess how water resources are managed in Kenya, the institutional set-up in the water sector is revealed in this paper. All these general and specific data create a comprehensive picture of the water related problems in the Athi River Basin and points to situations when asymmetric water use conflicts occur. Data limitations and incompatibility of data that on the one hand are provided on the district level and, on the other hand on a river basin level calls for further research Chapter four contains information on the planned 2nd Mzima Water Pipeline Project, since it may be able to aggravate the already existing water conflicts in the river basin. Positive, as well as negative possible impacts of the planned water pipeline are presented in this paper. The pessimistic scenario just makes even more clear, that there is need of development of efficient and equitable water allocation rules in the Athi River Basin Chapter five tries to path the way to such allocation rules by using the water governance approach, which is described in chapter two. Taking advantage of international experiences of the three disciplines, namely economics, ecology and politics for developing water allocation mechanisms for the Athi River Basin is the aim of this paper

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Page publiée le 7 mars 2016, mise à jour le 19 janvier 2018