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Southern Kenya – Kimana wetlands

This project in Southern Kenya tries to solve increasing conflicts between different groups of people and between people and wildlife over water and over the use of the Kimana wetlands.  

Action Description:

The Kimana Wetland System in Southern Kenya is critical to three large Maasai pastoralist communities. The area is crucial for the survival of their cattle. The area is also an important wildlife corridor especially for elephants linking two world-famous national parks. The water is mainly coming from the Kilimanjaro on the Tanzanian site of the border. Rainfall is low. 


New agricultural tools and techniques made it possible to convert grounds into farming lands. The led to the inmigration of  farmers from different parts of Kenya to this traditionally pastoral area of the Maasai tribes. An increasing part of the wetland is now cultivated for agricultural purposes. Unplanned water use, conversion of the wetland system to cultivation is leading to soil salinisation and fertility loss, increasing conflict between farming, livestock and wildlife, and threatens to result in a lose-lose-lose situation.

High levels of immigration of landless farmers have led to increased competition for water resources with the pastoralist Maasai, whereas erosion and water diversion for the capital and other cities are adding to increase the threat for conflict as well.

There are significant human-animal conflicts in the area (e.g. large grazers destroying crops). This is a direct result of the conversion of traditional migration routes of wildlife like elephant. Wildlife is more and more restricted to the rather small Amboseli park. Wildlife also serves as a source of income for others through revenues from tourism.

How the project works

The project works in close cooperation with the Maasai, new groups of farmers, park authorities and local planning authorities to develop an improved management system that balances use between different land use types and players. Community groups are formed for this purpose.

Action Partners:

The project is conducted by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), a foundation working in Eastern and Southern Africa. Enterprise-Works VITA (EWV) is a partner in this project. EWV is an organisation that fights poverty in the developing world.

The project started in the summer of 2006.Download the report of Enterprise Works on the springs, runoff and irrigation use in the Kimana wetlands.

More Action Details