Grace Waitherero Kuria


Management of natural resources and the environment


Institutional Formation of Water Resource Users Associations


70 years




Central Kenya



Grace Waitherero Kuria

Ms. Grace Kuria a coffee and tea farmer. She is also the chairlady of the Thika Mid Water Resource Users Association (WRUA) under the IFAD Project: Upper Tana Catchment Natural Resource Management Project (UTaNRMP). A WRUA is a locally based institution made up of an association of water resource users, riparian land owners and other stakeholders who are formally and voluntarily associated for the purposes of cooperatively sharing a common water resource.
WRUAs contribute to hydrological knowledge for decision-making processes along catchment areas. The role of WRUAs has changed rapidly as we are no longer restricted to just resolving conflicts and fostering cooperation between water users like in the past. We now have an additional responsibility of collecting hydrological data within our respective sub-catchments. We have been trained on how to collect data such as reading rain gauges, measuring stream flows, turbidity and sediment loads. We then share the data collected to the relevant government authorities for validation and interpretation and the information derived from this process is used to formulate important strategies such as water allocation plans.
Thika Mid WRUA was started in 2013 through the initiative of the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA). Stakeholders were invited to discuss ways in which water resource management could be managed in the area. She was chosen as chairperson as she has been interested in water issu
 es and was active in community issues with minimal benefits.
The WRUAs key activities include:
• Riparian conservation and protection
• Training
• Baseline survey
• Abstraction survey
• Enforcement compliance
• Final reporting
Grace has been able to mobilize the community from the UTaNRMP project when there are calls for proposals for their livelihood activities. He offers training on demand (On group dynamics women groups, creating awareness on legal capacity). He also trains members on financial management and budgeting and manage conflicts in the WRUA whenever the need arises. As a WRUA they procure seedlings from their communities for purposes of planting trees within riparian land and they engage the community in conservation. They have since gained knowledge on water conservation and improved on illegal obstruction of water. Tree cover has also improved.
The main objective of the riparian conservation is to empower the land owners on how to use the land with minimal pollution to the water source. The main method used in Thika WRUA is to encourage land owners to plant trees along the riparian land for agroforestry, planting of fodder crops along the river banks for livestock which also help reduce soil erosion by providing soil cover.
To achieve the above, the WRUA pegs the riparian land and holds the consultative meetings with the riparian land owners on the best farming practice to reduce land degradation.

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