Water resources in Kenya: All Kenya’s major river drain from the central highlands, divided by the rift into those flowing westward into Lake Victoria and those flowing eastwards towards the Indian Ocean.
There are five major drainage basins: Lake Victoria, the Rift Valley, the Athi-Galana-Sabaki River (and Coastal areas to its south), the Tana River and the northern Ewaso Ng’iro.
Kenya only has a small part of Lake Victoria’s water surface, but the Kenya catchment contributes a disproportionate 33% of its surface inflow, some 470 million cubic meters a year.
The rift valley contains several basins of internal drainage, forming a chain of endorheic lakes from Lake Natron on the Tanzanian border, through Lakes Magadi, Naivasha, Turkana, Elementaita, Nakuru, Bogoria and Baringo.
These lakes vary in alkalinity; from freshwater Lake Naivasha to the intensely alkaline Lake Magadi.
Lake Turkana is notable as a major volume of (more or less) freshwater in an otherwise arid and barren part of the county, while a number of rivers, including the Turkwel, Kerio, Athi-Galana, Tana and Northern and Southern Ewaso Ng’iro, flow for long distances through dry parts of the country.
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA)
Kenya’s Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation established under the Water Act 2002 and charged with being the lead agency in water resources management in the country.
The Kenya Water Resources Management Authority shall have the following powers and functions:—
- To develop principles, guidelines, and procedures for the allocation of water resources;
- To monitor, and from time to time reassess the national water resources management strategy;
- To receive and determine applications for permits for water use;
- To monitor and enforce conditions attached to permits for water use;
- To regulate and protect water resources quality from adverse impacts;
- To manage and protect water catchments;
- In accordance with guidelines in the national water resources management strategy, to determine charges to
- be imposed for the use of water from any water resource;
- To gather and maintain information on water resources and from time to time publish forecasts, projections, and information on water resources;
- To liaise with other bodies for the better regulation and management of water resources;
- To advise the Minister concerning any matter in connection with water resources.
In order for Kenya Water Resources Management Authority to undertake its stipulated responsibilities, the Act provides for decentralized and stakeholder involvement. This will be implemented through regional offices of the Authority based on drainage basins (catchment areas) assisted by Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs). At the grassroots level, stakeholder engagement will be through Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs).
THE MANDATE OF THE Kenya Water Resources Management Authority
The Water Act, 2002 created the Water Resources Management Authority as a semi-autonomous government institution and a key State Corporation under the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
The Kenya Water Resources Management Authority is the lead agency that is mandated to manage the water resources in the country. Kenya Water Resources Management Authority overall development objective is to ensure rational, effective management of the water resources and equitable access for the various competing needs.
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority Vision
“A global leader in Water Resources Regulation and Management”
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority Mission
“To effectively regulate and manage water resources for sustainable development”
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority Core Values :
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority core values are summarized in the acronym of CEIPT denoting:
Transparency and Accountability
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority Commitment
WRMA is committed to effectively and efficiently serve all with courtesy, honesty, integrity, and fairness through:
The WRMA will endeavor to provide the best services in a timely manner and in all its areas of operation.
Leadership: As the national lead agency, WRMA will endeavor to provide and foster leadership in water resources management in Kenya.
Care and Respect: The Water Resources Management Authority will endeavor to provide responsive services and foster a sense of belonging and ownership of water resources management.
Accountability: The WRMA will ensure the highest standards in public accountability and responsiveness through an honest and open relationship with all stakeholders while ensuring that no form of corruption exists within its ranks.
Value for Money: The WRMA will ensure that all its services are provided at the best value.
Partnerships: The WRMA will create partnerships by consultation and communication with all relevant and interested stakeholders in order to achieve its goals.
Learning: The WRMA will build the capacity of staff, CAACs and WRUAs to respond to new opportunities by skill improvement in Water Resource Management.
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Kenya Water Resources Management Authority Strategic Objectives
Strategic objective1: Strengthen monitoring networks to enhance data collection and improve the information management system
Strategic objective 2: Improve the use of water resources management tools for effective water resources planning and allocation
Strategic Objective 3: Strengthen stakeholder collaboration to enhance water storage and adaptation to climate change impacts
Strategic Objective 4: Strengthen the use of water resources management tools and collaboration for effective catchment protection and conservation
Strategic Objective 5: Build staff capacity and improve the working environment
Strategic Objective 6: Enhance Resource mobilization and effective use of finances
Kenya Water Resources Management Authority Contacts
Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA)
NHIF Building 9th Floor Wing B
Address: P. O. Box 45250 – 00100, Nairobi Town, Kenya
Phone: +254 / 0202732291