So yes! We finally have the article out.. Happy to have been part of this! This is an excerpt from 2030 Water Resource Group working with amazing Natasha and Meei.
The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP)–an initiative facilitated by 2030 WRG and supported by the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF)–has been supporting Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) in Kenya to manage their shared water resources. We interviewed Joy Makena, Manager of the Teleswani WRUA in Meru County, Kenya, about her experience leading her community from water conflict to collective action.
Joy Makena grew up in a farming family in Meru County, Kenya. On their family plot, her parents grew beans, maize, potatoes, and wheat. Having sufficient water for their crops was never a worry because her parents’ farm sat in the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro North Basin, which received an abundance of water from the glaciers on Mount Kenya. “During those days, the river was full. Villagers who needed to cross the river did so on bridges,” recalls Joy. Today, villagers simply wade across the river.
The receding river presents a host of problems. Each dry season, the river is reduced to a mere stream. As the number of people and animals competing for scarce water resources grows, so do tensions within the community. When pastoralists downstream struggle to find water for their cattle, they move upstream in search of increasingly scarce grazing land and water. The upward-bound cattle pass through private property, destroying crops and livelihoods. Meanwhile, smallholder farmers located downstream, believing that smallholder farmers upstream have unfairly diverted water for their crops, destroy those farmers’ irrigation canals and crops in retaliation. The conflicts that ensue sometimes result in deadly violence.
Joy was deeply troubled by such conflicts in her community. “I wanted to understand my community’s problems, from my community’s perspective. I wanted to be part of the solution,” says Joy.
She believed that community problems can only be resolved by community-led solutions and decided to join her local water resource user association (WRUA)…Read more here..