A desert safari through Garissa to Madogo Water Resources Users Association takes you through an endless stunning range of desert landscapes coupled with scenic beauty. It’s a place where normal rules about living are suspended or even absent. Madogo Water Resources Users Association (WRUA) is located in Madogo ward, Tana River County, Tana catchment area. The WRUA was formed in 2008 by Madogo Farmers Association who later incorporated other abstractors, riparian land owners, non-abstractor members (pastoralists) and other stakeholders within Madogo division. The Madogo sub-catchment is situated approximately 50 km south of Kora National Park along the Tana River. It stretches approximately 110 km along the Tana from Kora National Park to Lagha Darime, which is 50 km north of Bura Irrigation Scheme. The Madogo watershed covers an area of 2100 square km.

The Madogo WRUA developed a sub-catchment management plan (SCMP) that they are currently using as a guide in the implementation of all their activities. They have managed to secure funds from the Water Fund and various other partners. WSTF has funded the WRUA as from level 1 up to currently level 4 as per the WRUA Development Cycle funding criteria. Madogo WRUA has received level 1, level 2, level 3 and level 4 disbursements from the WSTF amounting to KES 11,775,600.

Tana River, which drains into the Indian Ocean, is the major source of water in the area. Madogo River, a tributary of the Tana, is seasonal and only active during the rainy season. Madogo sub-catchment is a water-scarce area, thus classified to be in alarm state due to low flows/ inadequate availability of water during dry spells to meet the water demand, poor quality due to siltation in Tana River, floods, high mineralisation in ground water, and water use conflicts due to sparse distribution and access of the resource. Some of the challenges that the WRUA has addressed include the acute water scarcity, the water use conflicts, the water pollution, encroachment/ illegal use of the riparian land and malkas, and the catchment degradation.

Madogo WRUA implemented a number of activities. Firstly, their water storage capacities have been enhanced through the installation of roof water harvesting tanks, sand dams and controlled sand harvesting. The community gave the feedback that they have experienced improved water availability and access. A reduced walking distance to water sources allowed more time for other productive activities. The water quality has improved and occurrences of waterborne disease, a previous menace, have been eradicated. The association furthermore introduced small-scale irrigation, which has led to improved livelihoods. Participation in sub-catchment management led to a reduction in water-related conflicts. Improved financial management also became visible as a result of various trainings by the Water Resources Investment and the Water Resources Management Authority.

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