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Conservationists alarm at depletion of Ewaso Nyiro river basin | coastweek

View of the Ewaso N’giro River in Kenya: Ewaso Ng’iro [a.k.a. Ewaso Nyiro] rises on the west side of Mount Kenya and flows north then east and finally south-east, passing through Somalia where it joins the Jubba River. The upper basin of the Ewaso Ng’iro River is 15,200-square-kilometre (5,900 sq mi).The river has a continuous water supply due to the glaciers on Mount Kenya. WIKIPEDIA PHOTO - FREDERIC SALEIN


Conservationists alarmed at depletion of Ewaso Nyiro river basin

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Ewaso Nyiro river basin that is critical to the survival of pastoral communities and wildlife sanctuaries in northern Kenya is facing myriad threats linked to human activities and climate change, conservationists warned on Thursday.
Local and foreign conservation groups said Kenya’s third largest river is grappling with profound ecological challenges which threatens the survival of an estimated 1.5 million people in seven arid and semi arid counties

"The Ewaso Nyiro River basin is facing a number of threats chief among them climate change and encroachment in the upstream. Population growth and large infrastructure projects have also put enormous strain on this ecosystems," they said in a joint statement issued in Nairobi.

Campaigners had last week organized a five-day caravan along counties sharing the Ewaso Nyiro River basin to raise awareness on its ecological threats to local communities, political leaders and investors.

They warned that tributaries that drain into Ewaso Nyiro River are drying up at unprecedented rate due to intensive water abstraction by horticulture farms located in the upstream.

"Erratic rainfall patterns have also affected water flow in the Ewaso Nyiro catchment.

"Pollution, illegal abstraction and cultivation along the river banks should be acted upon to save it from extinction," the conservationists said.

Conservation groups have facilitated dialogue with local communities along Ewaso Nyiro River basin to seek innovative ways to reclaim it amid rapid depletion.


  NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Judy Wakhungu (L), Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environ-ment and Regional Development Autho-rities receives a eco-friendly bag during a clean-up exercise launch of Karura Forest Campaign in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Sept. 19, 2017. Xinhua/Nyalwash

A campaign dubbed Camel Caravan that was launched by conservation lobbies in 2013 has rallied pastoralists, farmers and owners of wildlife sanctuaries towards sustainable management of Ewaso Nyiro catchment.

"The campaign’s objective is to sensitize upstream and downstream communities on the threats facing Ewaso Nyiro River and how they can become integral part of its restoration," noted the statement from conservation lobbyists.

They disclosed that owners of tourist resorts in northern Kenya have joined the campaign to restore Ewaso Nyiro River basin.


Ewaso Ng’iro watershed stretches over a diverse variety of ecosystems



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