Assesment of Water Resource Accessibility and Conservation in Ngaciuma/Kinyarithia Sub-Catchment,Imenti North District,Kenya
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The aim of the study was to assess water resource accessibility and conservation in Ngaciuma/Kinyaritha sub-catchment in Imenti North District, Kenya. The study was prompted by unsustainable use of water resources in the study area which has drastically affected the volumetric flows of Ngaciuma River rendering some of the tributaries seasonal. People are therefore forced to move longer distances in search of reliable water sources, especially during the dry season. To contribute to the improvement on this situation, the study sort to expose the statusof water resources in.the sub-catchment by analyzing both trends in rainfall(1986-2008) andstream flow for both Ngaciuma and Kinyaritha minor river both serving the community in this sub-catchment. Water use and water conservation activities were also documented. The influenceof water accessibility on water use and adoption of Water Conservation (WC) practices at household level was evaluated. The study identified the constraints faced by the community. To realize the objectives of the study, both primary and secondary data were utilized. Primary datawere collected using open and closed ended questionnaires administered to households. The householdswere selected through the guidance of zones in the sub-catchment. Secondary data involved rainfall data and 'stream discharge data which were acquired from the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) sub regional office in Imenti North district, respectively. Statistical package of Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze social economic characteristics of the respondents. Regression, correlation, spearman t test and Mann Wh itney U testwere used to compute the relationship between variables. Tree planting, rainwater harvesting and bench terraces were identified as the main we practices. Lack of capital and lack of technical knowledge were the "major 'constraints to adoption of WC practices. Stepwise regressionanalysis revealed that lack of technical knowledge could explain 83.5% of variations of adoption level of we practices by respondents. The Upper zone of the sub-catchment had poor access to water resources as compared to the Middle and Lower zones. A correlation analysisbetween distance to and from water sources revealed a negative association statistically significant at p<0.05. However, a correlation analysis between distance and number of we practicesadopted revealed no significant relationship at P<0.05. Spearman rank test revealed a significantdecreasing trend during the long rains (March-May) during the period 1986-2008 at P<O.05. No change was observable for the short rains (October-December) from the same period. Theflow duration curve revealed than Ngaciuma River had a longer lag time for the low flow as compared to Kinyaritha Minor River. The spearman rank test revealed significant decreasing trendin discharge for Ngaciuma River at P<O.05 and an increasing trend for Kinyaritha Minor River at P<O.O]. The level of adoption of we practices was fairly low with only a few respondents highly adopting to we practices. The aforementioned gaps need to be bridged throughensuring uniformity in adoption of we practices. Urgent solutions from the community, the government and donor agencies need to be hastened. To achieve this, alternative energy sources, water use efficient methods of irrigation and potential water harvesting need to be evaluated.