Monday, 16 November 2020 13:15

Provisioning of Water Ecosystem Services in Kapingazi Catchment, Embu County, Kenya. What are the Anthropogenic Activities Impacting on their Supply within the Catchment?

Written by B. K. Ireri1, P. M. Makenzi1, S. M. Makindi2, P. A. Minang3 and J.M. Mironga4
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B. K. Ireri1, P. M. Makenzi1, S. M. Makindi2, P. A. Minang3 and J.M. Mironga4

1Department of Environmental Science, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya, 2Department of Environmental Science, Machakos University, Machakos, Kenya, 3World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya, 4Department of Geography, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya; 0721308373

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Ecosystems provide valuable ecosystem services which are the foundation of man's sustainable development such as water provision. However, when humans exploit ecosystems in providing for their own sustenance, they also affect ecosystem services intensively and consequently degrade the environment, endangering man's survival and development. Kapingazi catchment is home to various ecosystem services mainly water provision to downstream users. Kapingazi River flowing from this catchment contributes to Tana River with several national hydroelectric power stations that contribute to 52.1% of hydro-electric power of Kenya's electricity. Destruction of the catchment area through anthropogenic activities, have threatened Kapingazi River with its water flows and quality fluctuating significantly. The aim of this research was therefore to assess the anthropogenic activities impacting on water service provision in Kapingazi catchment in Embu County, Kenya. Data collection was conducted between March and May, 2018. The study adopted cross sectional research design. Primary and secondary data were collected from Kapingazi catchment. Various anthropogenic activities were analysed based on catchment users who caused them including; cultivation at the riparian area, availability of eucalyptus trees at the riparian area, chemical control of pests and diseases, water abstraction, washing in the river, deforestation, quarrying, soil erosion, poor waste disposal and management. Logistic regression analysis showed that farmers’ activities (p = 0.002) had significant impact on changes in water quality while farmers’ activities (p = 0.036) and industrial activities by tea factories (p = 0.014) and coffee factories (p = 0.013) had significant impact on changes in water quantity at 95% confidence level. Negative impacts weaken water provision ecosystem service through changing ecosystem structure hence the need to reverse them in Kapingazi catchment. This can be achieved through proper waste management, soil and water conservation measures and enforcement of water regulations in order to provide improved water services of Kapingazi River.

Keywords: Anthropogenic activities, catchment, ecosystem, ecosystem services, water

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