The extent of groundwater use for domestic and irrigation activities in Thiririka sub-catchment, Gatundu South District, Kiambu County, Kenya
Population increase in Thiririka sub-catchment is causing high demand of water against limited supply. Currently, only 12,000 households out of 250,000 in the catchment have access to pipe water. Groundwater offers the one of the available options to the limited and irregular supply of pipe water. This study aims to find out the extent to which groundwater as alternative source of water for both domestic and irrigation activities is explored in the Thiririka sub-catchment. To achieve this objective, a field survey was conducted using semi-structured questionnaire to seek the extent to which individuals and households use groundwater. The study indicated a very low and adopted use of groundwater in the catchment. Only 36.7% of the various households visited use groundwater for domestic activities and 13.30% for irrigation purposes. It was found out that residents perception on groundwater to be polluted and therefore not safe for domestic activities, lack of cash availability for individuals who wish to construct wells at their homes and lack of awareness and education on the benefits of groundwater are some of the challenges contributing to the low use of groundwater in the Thiririka sub-catchment. It was therefore, recommended that education on the benefits of groundwater by the Gatundu South Water Services and Sanitation office and other NGOs be intensified to the residents of Thiririka subcatchment and more community boreholes and wells should be provided to the communities by the government, churches and NGOs, beside the pipe connections.