Kisii County Director of Environment (CDE), Samson Bokea attributes the trend to the fact that underground water is getting depleted owing to massive cultivation of blue gum trees along riverbanks and riparian zones.
“The environment has been battered. People have been planting eucalyptus relentlessly, but now they are facing a crisis,” he observes.
According to Water Resources Management Authority (Warma), no exotic trees are supposed to be planted between six and 30 feet from a riverbank, a regulation that has largely been ignored in Kisii and Nyamira counties.
Experts warn this will undermine the Government’s intention to provide safe and clean water by 2015, as stipulated in the Millennium Development Goals.
“I have got many complaints about springs that are now seasonal or dried up altogether,” says Mr Bokea.
Kisii District Water Officer (DWO) Alfred Obobe says the issue of conserving the environment is being neglected by the locals because of easy money that comes with eucalyptus.