November 9, 2010 by
Over 200 households in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, were interviewed in a survey by PRESA, to find out whether consumers of water in the city are willing to pay for watershed conservation.
The survey, held from 19 – 26 October is part of PRESA activities of linking communities living in the catchment area of Sasumua Dam with water users in Nairobi. Sasumua Dam supplies the city with about 20% of its fresh water needs.
The one-week survey was done in six sub-locations in central and Northwestern parts of the city: Ruthimitu, Loresho, Mountain View, Gatina, Maziwa, and Upper-Parklands. According to the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC), these are some of the areas that receive water from Sasumua Dam.
There were also two focus group discussions held at the World Agroforestry Centre offices. The Centre’s staff living in the targeted areas were invited to participate. The discussions brought up issues of water availability and quality of service from Nairobi’s water company.
Analysis of data from the survey and the focus group discussions is already in progress. Results will inform PRESA activities in the Sasumua watershed area, where it is expected that a rewards for environmental services (RES) programme could encourage Sasumua communities to ensure the sustainable flow of clean water from their land.
In the meantime, PRESA (with support from the World Bank, communities, site and national-level partners) has done technical studies on watershed delineation, land degradation, land tenure, land use mapping, hydrological modelling, water quality assessment and environmental auditing. Trade-off analyses were done using the Polyscape model.
A key person in the survey was Dr Bedru Balana from the Macaulay Institute for Land Use Research, one of PRESA’s partner organizations. Prior to the survey, Bedru led a consultative meeting at the World Agroforestry Centre with Kenyan researchers, industrial water consumers, water supply companies and water regulatory bodies. The purpose of the meeting was to fine tune the survey questionnaire in line with Kenyan social, economic and regulatory norms.
PRESA has previously worked with researchers from Macaulay and from Pretoria University in conducting poverty assessment that will inform the design of rewards for environmental services in Sasumua.
As the sole supplier of water to the Kenyan capital, the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company is a very important stakeholder. PRESA is engaging the water company in dialogue to better understand their potential as a buyer of watershed services. Linkages have also been established with the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) for collaborative catchment management.
For photos of survey activities, please click here.