EVANS MUTUMA1, ISHMAIL MAHIRI1, MURIMI SHADRACK2
1Kenyatta University, Geography, Kenya
2Kenyatta University, Environmental Planning and Management, Kenya
Availability of water in quantity and quality affects output and economic growth. The aim of the study was to assess water resources accessibility and conservation in Imenti North District, Kenya. Unsustainable use of water resources has drastically affected the volumetric flows of Ngaciuma/Kinyaritha River rendering some of its tributaries seasonal. This has adversely affected accessibility to adequate water for both domestic and agricultural use. To improve on this situation the study sought to understand the status of water resources, water use and water conservation activities. The influence of water accessibility on water use and adoption of water conservation (WC) practices and constraints were assessed. Primary and secondary data were utilised. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse social economic data. Regression, correlation and spearman's t- test were used to compare the relationship between variables. Tree planting, roof catchment and bench terraces were the major WC practices in use. Multiple regression analysis revealed that lack of technical knowhow could explain 83.5% variations of adoption level of WC practices. One sample t-test comparing the means of WC practices among respondents' was significant at p < 0.01. Correlation analysis between distance to water sources and water use revealed a negative association at p < 0.05. Spearman's rank test revealed a decreasing trend during the long rains (March-May) for the period 1986-2008 at p < 0.05. Spearman's rank test revealed a significant decreasing trend of discharge for Ngaciuma River at p < 0.05. The decreasing linear trend in rainfall and stream discharge calls for urgent and better management of water resources in the study area.
Keywords: Rainfall, streamflow, unsustainable water use, water conservation practices