Three counties join hands to save Ewaso Nyiro River from drying up

Young men harvest sand by the banks of River Ewaso Nyiro. Sand harvesting has been identified as the key cause of drying of the river which snakes through Laikipia, Isiolo, and Samburu counties. (Jacinta Mutura, Standard)
Counties in the Ewaso Nyiro Basin have started talks on how to conserve Ewaso Nyiro River whose volumes are dwindling.

The river is fast drying up due to increased human activity along its banks.

Arid and semi-arid counties of Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo depend on it.

During a forum held at Samburu Lodge and attended by officials from those counties, as well as representatives from the Water Resources Management Authority, Wetlands International and the National Environmental Management Authority, a decision was made to conserve the river.

It was also planned that the upstream counties of Nyandarua, Nyeri and Meru would be roped in those efforts.

“We expect water-related conflicts in the coming dry months. We need to be well prepared to tackle these conflicts,” said Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation Director Mali Kaunga.

Judging from the low volumes of the water crossing the Archers Post Bridge the forum heard that the river could soon dry up, leaving more than 3.5 million residents without water.

Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki said all players involved would hold a meeting to deliberate what to do to avoid farming on the banks.

“There is a lot of river abstraction by the flower farms yet they do little to conserve it," said Mwaniki.

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Ewaso NyiroSamburuLaikipiaIsiolo