Main Article Content
Water access, Water Governance, Institutional reforms, Upstream downstream landscape, Upper Ewaso Nyiro River basin
Challenges to water access are characterized by ineffective water institutions in Upper Ewaso Ng’iro North River basin. The inability of policies to create trust and equity for sustainable water access is critical despite institutional reforms undertaken over the years. The impact of scarcity and limitations noted are more pronounced in upstream downstream landscape breeding a sense of dissatisfaction and perception of inequality among water users and stakeholders. Study adopted a mixed methods with data collection tools used were; desktop analysis, field visits and discussions, structured questionnaires, Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions. Interviews with 384 randomly selected households were conducted and data analyzed using descriptive statistics. Theory of Access informed the study. The findings showed that rivers and boreholes are the main water sources in the sub-basin. Consequences of the unsatisfactory state of water access attributed to weak water governance policies and water management institutions. Lack of trust among water users remains latent easily triggered by scarcity and political-economic and social disruptions during severe droughts. The study’s recommendations are the development of effective communication mechanisms to share information, adherence to regulations, and government to implement current and past reforms to mitigate constraints to water access.