Evaluating the farmers Willingness to Accept Adoption of Watershed Conserving Land use Practices in Ndaka-ini Dam catchments, Muranga County, Kenya

Joram Kimenju Kagombe, James Kungu, Daniel Mugendi, Joshua Kiplongei Cheboiwo


Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) has become a handy tool for promotion of sustainable watershed management across the globe due its versatility and capacity to engage multiple stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Its strength lies in the ability to incorporate voluntary economic incentives and market-based instruments which are superior to the conventional command and control approaches in watershed and natural resource management.  It is an incentive based mechanisms that links the suppliers and consumers of goods and services from a natural resource in a way that both parties contribute to improved delivery. It challenges the common perception that that water will always flow from the watersheds for free without any effort or investment to sustain such flows. To the contrary, water quantity and quality from watershed are deteriorating at unprecedented scale for farmers and other land owners hosting watersheds have not received recognition and incentives to play positive role in the land use management practices that ensure sustainable flow of water into the rivers. Nairobi City one of the fastest growing urban areas in east Africa has been experiencing serious water shortages partly to the reduced water inflows to Ndaka-ini Dam that suppliers 80% of its water supplies and further, its resident don’t link the water from the pipes to conservation of water catchments areas. In recognition of the links between water catchments and water supply predicaments being experienced in Nairobi a study was commission whose objectives was  to find out whether land owners and users of water are willing to participate in watershed protection scheme through Payment for Water Services. Specifically, the study identified factors that influence willingness of water users to pay for water provision and land use practices the farmers were willing to adopt to improve quality and quantity of water. Primary and secondary data were collected based on baseline survey and qualitative research approaches, interview schedules, questionnaires and, focus group discussions. Both parametric and non-parametric methods of data analysis were used.  Results showed that farmers are willing to accept improved farming practices in return to for specified incentives. Though in most cases expected incentives were far above what the users were willing to give but a significant relationship between farmers’ acceptance of conservation practice and incentives provided was established. The findings of the study provides some information that will guide future packaging of  incentives for enhanced management and conservation of catchments areas for improved water quantity and quality of flows. The findings are relevant to many other water catchments beyond Ndaka-ini Dam hence are useful development PES schemes elsewhere in the country.

Keywords:  PES, willingness to pay, watersheds, water, land use practices

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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