Environment and Natural Resource Governance – Focus on Kajiado
Kajiado County is located in the Southern part of Kenya. It borders Nairobi County to the North East, Narok County to the West, Nakuru and Kiambu Counties to the North, Taita Taveta County to the South East, Machakos and Makueni Counties to the North East and East respectively, and the Republic of Tanzania to the South. It is situated between Longitudes 360 5’ and 370 5’ East and between Latitudes 10 0’ and 30 0’ South. The county covers an area of 21,900.9 square kilometres (Km2) Kajiado County is divided into 5 sub-counties and 25 Wards with Kajiado West being the largest and Kajiado North Sub-county being the smallest in terms of area in Km2. The county has 101 locations and 212 sub-locations but is yet to establish villages. The County has 5 Constituencies namely which follow the sub county boundaries. The 2018 projected population stands at 1,112,823 with male population constituting of 50.2 percent and female population constituting of 49.8 percent of the total population. The population is projected to be 1,236,723 in 2020 and 1,306,723 at the end of 2022.
The Kajiado County Integrated Development Plan (2018-2022 identify the following environmental problems facing the county:
- Prolonged periods of abnormally low rainfall and shortage of water. This results to substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture harming the local economy.
- illegal tree felling, charcoal burning,
- Over harvesting of sand risking loss of bio-diversity, pollution and loss of aesthetic value.
- Flash floods are a common menace during long rains season mainly because of erosion and lack of vegetation cover.
- Drought and famine;
- Flash floods and winds;
- Environmental pollution and degradation.
The county does not have a reliable source of water with the main sources of water being seasonal rivers, shallow wells, prings, dams, water pans and boreholes.
Water supply schemes
There are five Water Resource User Associations (WRUA) managed by the communities at the grass root levels. There are also several water providers within the County among them Nolturesh-Loitokitok Water and Sewerage Company in Kajiado South; Olkejuado Water and Sewerage Company (OWASCO) in Kajiado Central and Nolturesh Water and Sewerage Company Limited in Kajiado North. The companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of the County Government of Kajiado.
Water sources and access
Kajiado County is an Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) characterised by an acute shortage of clean and safe water for drinking and other domestic uses. According to the County Statistical Abstract 2015, only 67.2 percent of the total population has access to safe water. The number of households (HH) with an access to piped and portable water is about 36.8 percent of the total population. The main sources of water in the rural areas are water pans, dams and protected springs with the most reliable source being boreholes. There are 1150 public boreholes which are commonly managed by communities. However, the county is still water stressed. In order to ensure availability and sustainable management of water, there is need to achieve universal equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water.