Monitoring people’s welfare: where are the poor?

Gro for GooD collected data from over 3,000 households each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 with the support of over 20 local staff trained by Oxford University. These data provide insights into who is poor, where people suffering poverty live and what is changing people’s welfare over time. The sampling strategy spans across Matuga, Msambweni and Lunga Lunga constituencies.

The latest round of the household survey took place in September to November 2016. The survey captures information on demographic and socio-economic, health, water sources, waterpoint management, water payments, water resources management as well as governance issues. In addition to the face-to-face interviews Gro-for-GooD has successfully piloted a mobile-based socio-economic survey instrument that can be used for rapid updating of the social component of the Groundwater Risk Management Tool.

Where are the poor? Welfare change 2014-2015

Kwale County Government is responding to the need to improve the lives of 7 out of 10 Kwale County residents who live below the poverty line of USD1.25 a day. To achieve this, the County needs to know who the poor are, where they are and the likely impacts of different poverty interventions. In an effort to answer some of these questions, data from the three household surveys were used to evaluate and map welfare between 2014 and 2015.

Households experiencing declining welfare in this period were observed to be in regions largely influenced by the tourism (Ukunda/Diani) and fishing (coastal strip) industries. However, some pockets within the coastal strip (Kinondo and Vingujini) were observed to have a positive change in welfare. Households that experienced a large positive change in welfare were observed to be around Lukore, Shimba hills, Mivumoni, Mbegani, Majimboni, Mangawani, Mzizima, Kinondo and Mwaluvanga, among others. The majority of households in Lunga Lunga experienced a decline in welfare.

A message from WRMA: our support for the Gro for GooD project

The Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) is a State Corporation under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. WRMA was established in the year 2003 pursuant to the enactment of Water Act number eight of 2002. WRMA is the lead agency in the regulation and management of water resources nationally.

One of WRMA’s core functions is to ensure that there is fair, transparent and participatory allocation and apportionment of water resources to all users, so that everyone who needs water can access it now and for generations to come. Communities are directly affected by the state of water resources. Livelihoods depend not only on water availability but also on the quality of available water, which may be affected by organic pollution from sewage, animal and human waste as well as inorganic pollution from transport, agriculture or industry. The quality of groundwater resources may also be affected by seawater intrusion.

Kwale’s groundwater resources have attracted several major abstractors in recent years. Recognising the importance of balancing competing demands for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses of groundwater, the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) has been collaborating closely with the Gro for GooD project since its inception. We have been involved directly in a number of activities, including provision of the ABEM SAS1000 Terrameter and participation in the geophysical survey and installation of water level recorders and other monitoring equipment. Data generated from these activities will provide critical inputs to the hydrogeological flow model for Kwale County that is under development by the project and will form the basis of the Groundwater Risk Management Tool. The tool, once developed, will prove most useful in decision-making by WRMA as we allocate the groundwater resources in Kwale County. WRMA is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified.

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WRMA staff Susan Mwangi and David Shokut undertake borehole monitoring at Tiwi BH 6

 

Gro for GooD open for business in Bomani, Kenya

“Groundwater is increasingly important for Kwale’s growth and development. It is a widely available water resource of high quality and low cost. Rural communities know this well and have relied on groundwater for generations managing the resource sustainably. With increasing variability in rainfall which supplies small and large dams, groundwater provides an important alternative for new water demands from irrigated agriculture, mining or tourism.

“Managing groundwater sustainably so the resource is not over-used or contaminated is challenging. Science can provide support to help make better informed decisions. Oxford University is proud to work with the County Government, Water Resources Management Authority, Base Titanium Ltd., KISCOL, Rural Focus Ltd. and local communities to develop a better understanding of groundwater risks to help protect the resource for everyone.

“The Gro for GooD project – Groundwater Risk Management for Growth and Development – competed in an international research competition and was ranked in first place for the innovative and inclusive nature of the project. Working with the University of Nairobi, JKUAT and Rural Focus Ltd. in Kenya and the Polytechnic University of Barcelona in Spain (UPC), the team boasts some of Kenya’s and the world’s best scientists working on groundwater systems from hydrological, geophysical, geochemical, social and economic disciplines.

“After the Governor of Kwale County graciously opened the project in 2015 we are now delighted to share the first of regular quarterly newsletters providing updates to the people of Kwale on the progress of the project. This includes a new project office in Bomani with local staff working with all our partners. We hope you find this newsletter relevant and interesting and look forward to your feedback.”

– Dr Rob Hope

Photo: Research Team collects samples from a borehole during the first groundwater sampling campaign in Sep – Oct 2015

Gro For Good workshop: 23 March, Kwale County, Kenya

Gro4goodThe Groundwater Risk Management for Growth and Development (GRo for Good) project is holding a workshop on 23rd March 2015 in Kwale County, Kenya as part of the Africa-wide UPGRo programme funded by NERC, ESRC and UK DFID.

Improved understanding of groundwater risks and institutional responses against competing growth and development goals is central to accelerating and sustaining Africa’s development. The coastal aquifer system in southern Kwale faces a unique set of challenges to balance the water use demands of irrigated agriculture and mining with existing demands from tourism and community water supplies. An international research team led by the University of Oxford has been conducting research in Kwale since 2013, with the aim of providing evidence to support the Kwale County Government as it responds to the challenges of improving water security under rapid climate, economic, environmental and political change.

The workshop will present groundwater and poverty research conducted to date by the Oxford-led team. The aims of the new GRo for GooD project will be outlined and discussed with the County Government and other stakeholders with a view to addressing the shared goals and interests and developing long term collaboration to improve groundwater security and reduce poverty.