Program Updates

Mitigating effects of floods and drought - Haragal

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Haragal community in Tarbaj District (formerly in Wajir East) experiences flash floods and water scarcity at times in a span of four months which paints an ironical picture to the arid village situated approximately 80 kilometers from Wajir town.

The village which is positioned on a gentle sloping terrain, has a population of approximately 305households and mainly relies on a low yielding borehole (2m³/hr) for domestic water supply. A nearby earth pan also acts a source of water for the first one and a half month after the rains, though it has been heavily silted over time. These two sources have hardly been reliable for domestic and livestock use in the area. The community members have been forced to augment their water demand by trucking water from Wajir. The area assistant chief lamented that “it costs between Kshs.15,000 to Kshs.20,000 for a 20,000litre truck from Wajir and the village requires a minimum of three trucks per week. Although the government water office has occasionally subsidized this cost, it is still too expensive for the poor residents of Haragal”. Access to the trucked water which is stored in an underground masonry tank is highly controlled through a local water committee.

During the rainy season, most families are forced to relocate from their homes due to the flash floods. Most houses are destroyed by the flood waters, which Mohamed, the community health worker at Haragal, estimated to be one metre high. The flood water level is also easily visible on most of the mad and iron sheet walls in the village.

After the launch of the KALDRR WASH program in Wajir, profiling of flash prone areas was done in the project’s target locations. Haragal emerged as one of the villages whereby disaster risk reduction and resilience building interventions were a priority.

The District water office in Wajir, supported by the CRS and Caritas Garissa technical team, recommended the de silting of the heavily silted earth pan. This was aimed at harvesting the surface water runoff, which was believed to collect from Majabow village, 15km away. The rapid siltation of the pan was also analyzed to be as a result of a previous design error since the pan was not equipped with a siltation basin.

Tendering was successfully done and the identified contractor commenced construction works which included the desilting of the pan, excavation of a siltation basin and construction of an infiltration well (situated approximately 50m away from the earth pan reservoir). The infiltration well would contribute to the reduction of suspended solids in the water fetched by the community. Additionally, the community members would not fetch water directly from the reservoir as they previously did, hence contributing to a reduction in contamination of the water in the reservoir.

The works have been completed successfully. Initial estimates indicate that the reservoir capacity has been increased from 5,000m³ to 15,000m³ which calculates to a 200% increase in volume. Training of the water management committee on the basics of water resource management and governance has been on going in a bid to enhance sustainability and promote better water resource utilization. The alternate source of water is expected to lead to a decrease in the use of the borehole which will provide an ample time for the recharge of the borehole’s aquifer.

Though the short rains in November and December failed, the Haragal community is optimistic that if the long rains (April - May) are adequate, the water scarce months will reduce from 7 to 2.

Share this Update

More Kenya Updates

Kenya

Kenya

Dec 16, 2014

KAMOTONYI SAND DAM ENSURES PERMANENT WATER STORAGE

Read more

Kenya

Kenya

Oct 27, 2014

KINNA COMMUNITY READY FOR IMPROVED WATER SUPPLY

Read more

Kenya

Kenya

Oct 22, 2014

Stakeholders workshop

Read more

Kenya

Kenya

Sep 29, 2014

Aqua for All makes first update

Read more