Assessing Water Availability under Pastoral Livestock Systems in Drought-prone Isiolo District, Kenya

Show simple item record Mati, Bancy M. et al. 2017-09-13T12:40:17Z 2017-09-13T12:40:17Z 2017-09-13
dc.identifier.isbn 92 9090 623 5
dc.description.abstract There has been growing frustration with the pace at which relief and development efforts reach beneficiaries in drought-prone arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of East Africa, where 20 million people are in chronic need of famine relief, and poverty prevalence exceeds 60 percent of the population. This frustration reached its peak in the year 2000, when prolonged drought in the region saw the loss of about 50 percent of the cattle in certain vulnerable districts of Kenya, mostly due to lack of water. Relief agencies remained helpless lacking information to guide them at quick notice, as to the precise location of alternative local water sources to offset precarious stress levels in the most affected areas. At the end of the drought, stakeholders in certain ASAL districts decided to conduct rapid assessments and document the status and access to water by communities and livestock. In particular, the assessment was planned to capture strategic water sources for “drought- proofing.” It was also agreed to link this information to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), while taking into consideration impacts on livelihoods. As livestock husbandry is the predominant economic activity in these zones, information on water for livestock is of paramount importance. This report thus presents the results of a study to determine access to water sources by pastoral communities and their livestock in Isiolo District of Kenya, with special focus on water availability during drought conditions. The study was conducted between 2002 and 2003. It utilized GIS tools and information gathered through rapid assessments involving researchers, government officers, local communities and NGOs. Isiolo is an ASAL district in Eastern Province of Kenya, where pastoral livestock systems form the main economic activity, but water scarcity and recurrent drought are major constraints. From the study, GIS thematic maps were developed to include rainfall distribution, land use-cover, drainage systems, hydrogeology and grazing potential as well as types and location of water sources, their operational status and major characteristics. The study determined that the total water demand for humans and livestock in the rural areas of Isiolo District is about 6,018 m 3 per day, which is equivalent to 2.2 million m 3 per year. Developed water sources are poorly distributed, amounting to 123 sources/points, of which only 44 (36%) are operational during the dry season. There is no piped/tap water in the rural areas and the district relies mostly on boreholes, accounting for 58 percent of all developed water facilities. This suggests an over-reliance on groundwater, yet only about 20 percent of the district area has good groundwater potential. Moreover, both supply and demand for water vary by season, with critical scarcity during the dry season, when about 93 percent of the district area lacks water sources for domestic supplies within 5 km distance, affecting 175 (73%) of the villages. At the same time, livestock lack access to water to within 15 km distance in about 63 percent of the area, affecting 92 (38%) of the villages. During the dry season, in areas such as Merti, Garbatulla and Sericho some of the people undergo hardships as their villages are located 50-75 km from the nearest water point. Other constraints include siltation of pans, recurrent droughts, lack of fuel to run boreholes, poor infrastructure, overgrazing and degradation of areas around water points, high poverty prevalence and lack of community water management institutions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology; the Ministry of Water Resources Management and Development-District Water Office, Isiolo; the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development-Isiolo and Meru Dryland Farming Project. Catholic Organization for Relief and Development (Cordaid). The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) provided support for the preparation of this publication. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher International Water Management Institute en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries International Water Management Institute;Working Paper 106
dc.subject Pastoral Livestock Systems en_US
dc.subject Isiolo en_US
dc.subject Kenya en_US
dc.title Assessing Water Availability under Pastoral Livestock Systems in Drought-prone Isiolo District, Kenya en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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