Many households in the Upper Mara basin rely on water from springs to feed their livestock and for their domestic use. In each spring, there are several water outlets commonly referred to as 'eyes'. A collection of many eyes normally feeds into a collection point where water is fetched from. Over time, these springs end up being eroded due to movement by livestock and community members as they access this resource.
Over the last couple of months, the prolonged rain shortage has led to reduced water levels in the spring leading to interference of the spring eyes. During low water levels, it becomes difficult to access the water, since the volumes are very low. To address this, the MaMaSe team, led by Victor Lusweti from SNV undertook site surveys in three springs in Sasurek, Kapsunyan and Matiama to conduct a situation analysis with reference to the springs, the dangers they pose for the community and workable interventions to improve the springs . These visits were conducted in collaboration with members from each of the three Water Resource Users Association (WRUA's) where the springs are located. This aimed at helping the community to understand what needs to be done to protect the springs and the processes required too.
The Sasurek spring with low volumes and deepened for community to get water in Lelaitich WRUA
assist in curbing erosion-taking place around the spring, wetland areas, and
path for both animals and people leading to water points, protection of the
spring eye is key. This is done by planting
indigenous trees on the upper side of the spring, digging cut off drain to
convey surface water away from the eye to avoid contamination. To enhance
safety, it is important to fence the upper side to restrain animals from
getting near the spring. The groups agreed to take up these activities. On
the other hand, the members were guided on the trees to use for protection and
advised not to plant blue gum trees due to their high water consumption rate.
The area surrounding the spring should be fenced to curb animals’ movements. The
paths leading animals and people to the watering point needs soil erosion
control measures done to avoid siltation of the spring and contaminating water.
It was agreed that a contractor would construct
the collection chamber under strict guidelines, to collect water and pipe it to
the spring box which is to be built down of the collection chamber to store
water during the night. This is to
enable the large community to get water during the day. In addition, instead of
having a cattle trough, the community suggested that having a water reservoir set up 50 meters away from the spring for their
animals would be helpful and reduce the risk of contamination.
The Mataima Chepkunguret spring eye where community fetches water from.
The Kapsunyan spring discussions on spring and wetland protection and erosion controls on the paths.