Climate Change, Excess Land-Uses and Farmers’ Water Demand: An Induction from Smallholder Farms In Muooni Dam Site, Kenya.
Cush, Ngonzo Luwesi
Obando, Joy Apiyo
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Erratic rainfalls, heavy winds pressure and erosional processes due to El Niño floods and droughts are major causes of as farmlands degradation in the catchment, as well as Muoonidam siltation and its water storage capacity decrease. Beside, bad land management associated with excess multiple cropping of eucalyptus and other alien trees in the wetlands, as well as farmlands subdivision hampers water availability in the catchment. Put altogether, these factors affect at least 61% of the total variation of Muooni dam’s active water storage capacity. They result in higher water shortage costs and lower yields in farming threatening significantly the efficiency of farming activities in the catchment. This, combined with other socio-economic factors, explains farmers’ poverty and food insecurity therein. To improve the economic viability of their activities, farmers need to optimize their crops water requirement using efficient hydro-political strategies, on-farm land management techniques and technological innovation. The government shall effectively implement land allocation and water consumption metering mechanisms in Muooni catchment to ensure equity.