Kenya's Water Towers are

1. Cherangany Hills.

Located in the north Rift. It is really a crucial part of the Lake Turkana Eco-system alongside being a main water catchment area for the North Rift.
This is also the one of the primary source for River Nzoia that is crucial to supporting life down stream all the way to Lake Victoria. Many other small streams and springs have their origins here. The status of the forest as of now is least affected by deforestation.
This means at all costs the forest has to be protected.
By extension you have heard of Embobut Forest. This is the largest indigenous forest in the Cherangany Hills Forest Reserve. And there has has been evictions; Massive Evictions from the forest.
The water that has it's source from Embobut Forest is what residents of Eldoret Town rely on. You can understand why conservation has to be done at all costs...
2. Mount Elgon

Not so far from Cherangany Hills is Mount Elgon Water Tower. This includes the Mount Elgon Forest which as of now is critically in danger owing to excisions, encroachment and land use changes and illegal logging. A closer look at this. Shall we?
When was the last time you saw snow on Mount Elgon? At 4321M (though in UG) this mountain in the 90s had seasonal snow. But the detrimental impacts of human induced climate change however have made this a legend in our books and journals.
Illegal harvesting of Timber both in Kenya and Uganda is more of a risk to Kenya than it is to Uganda. How? The River Turkwel (Suam in Uganda) starts from the Ugandan side before flowing north into Lake Turkana.
Now picture this.. Ethiopia is carrying out Gibe Electricity Project on River Omo. River Omo has been the main source of water to Lake Turkana. The project means reduced water levels.
River Omo reduced. Now you have River Turkwel (Supports the Turkwel Dam) at risk, add to Kerio River that's starts at Embobut Forest at Risk. It will take less than 15 years to have a history tale of Lake Turkana which is loosing more water through evaporation.
River Nzoia and River Sio all have their source from the Kenyan side of Mount Elgon. For a second, my friend @LanguJichoTu confirms there is reduction in the volumes of water in River Nzoia.. And SLDF are back. The conflict is a source for more illegal logging in the forest.
This means Mount Elgon Forest has to be protected at all costs. Towns like Kitale may end up experiencing water crises because we didn't take care of nature. Saiwa Swamp National Park is also at Risk. (A really beautiful place btw)
3. The Aberdares

Nairobi people. Naivasha People. Nyahururu People listen carefully... Listen very carefully. If the damage in the Aberdares is not arrested, you in for further issues. How? I will share with you
Three key rivers start from the Aberdare Range Forest.

1. River Malewa that drains into Lake Naivasha.
2. River Ewaso Ngiro that ends up in the Lorian Swamp somewhere in eastern Kenya.
3. Rivers Tana and Athi that make sojourns to the plains before emptying at the Indian Ocean
One of the places that supply Nairobi with Water is Sasumua Dam in Nyandarua. While it may not match to Ndakaini's standards, it's was reconstructed after damage by floods in 2008. It is second to Ndakaini in Water Supply to Nairobi.
It is also the source of River Chania that is the main tributary to River Tana. And Thika People heavily rely on River Chania for its water. Look at the damage downstream when towers are destroyed.
I stand to be corrected. I am not sure if River Thika (that drains into Ndakaini Dam) and River Chania are the same. But Thika River has its source in the Aberdares. If it's compromised, Nairobi will be like Cape Town in Water Crises
An aside. 50% of water that is meant to be supplied to Nairobi cannot be accounted for. The other 50% has about 10% lost in leakages and seepage. So you have 40% to fight for.
Status of Aberdares is Critical. Substantial loss throughout land use changes and also through illegal logging. A vast part is unreached and that gives hope.
4. Mount Kenya Water Tower.

This is by far the most interesting Water Tower of all the four because it supports lives of over 7 counties both upstream and downstream. How? I will let you know in a bit.
Close to about 4M people directly and 6M others indirectly benefit from the Mount Kenya Water Tower. The sheer numbers both upstream and downstream. 10 million lives are supported daily. DAILY
One it's the only snow capped mountain in Kenya. Two. The glaciers are sources to many springs and streams that start many rivers that flow either north or south of the mountain.
Three. The indigenous forest. This is crucial. Currently at a moderate risk owing to encroachment and land use changes, the low altitude forests are at the greatest risk of being depleted.
If there is a further damage on the forest by 30% the entire Laikipia County will become a desert in less than 10 years. Laikipia is on the leeward side of Mount Kenya and may not enjoy much rain but further damage means further complications.
Areas like Muranga that are by extension in the Windward side have aggrevated water shortage issues in Kambiti, Maranjau, Maragua, Kakuzi and the like. Add that to that Tunnel project. Those streams that support Muranga before joining River Sagana will be gone.
We have Tharaka Nithi County and Meru County. We also have Nyeri, Kirinyaga and by extension Kiambu, Isiolo and Embu Counties all intertwined by Nature through the catchment area that Mount Kenya is.
Further down stream we have Kitui, Garissa, Tana River up to Lamu County. Solely reliant on the water from Mount Kenya. You see the challenges that will happen when the damage is increased by 10% upstream?
In terms of concern, Mount Kenya is among the most protected areas owing to the fauna and the prestige that it has. Already climate change is doing a number on the glaciers. There are only 11 remaining. The snow cap is also shrinking...
5. Mau Forest Complex.

The most volatile. The most politicized. The most talked about. And currently the most degraded. From the pictures I have seen, we will be lucky to save the Largest Water Tower in Kenya.
The kind of destruction happening in the Mau is sickening. What they have done is cleared the inner part leaving the outer part intact. You think everything is okay till images from the air stream in.
TF is wrong with us? A forest that supports a huge vast number of economic activities is being raped and plundered by capitalists and greedy politicians.. The Maasai Mau is at risk.. Huge huge risk..
Nine rivers. Nine rivers have dried up. TF..…
While I don't support inhuman treatment especially when advocating for eviction of people from the forest, this issue was politicized. Raila Odinga meant well for Kenya. He wanted the forest to conserved. But it became a score to settle.
Now even Lake Natron where flamingoes breed is at risk owing to prolonged drought/dry spell and the massive reduction of water from River Ewaso Ngiro (South)
Your favorite Wildebeest Migration may be compromised. With the waters in the Mara reduced these things may cross over to TZ and never return as the Mara Eco System cannot support them.
The entire towns of Kericho (Tea) , Narok, Londiani, Mau Summit, Elburgon, Olenguruone, Njoro are at risk of water problems. Reason Mau Forest Complex destruction
In conclusion, I quote The Late Prof. Wangari Maathai. 'Nature is very unforgiving. If you destroy nature it will destroy you.' We need to get our shit together coz Nature will come out guns blazing and it will not be nice
NB. Kakamega Forest and Nandi Hills Forest are also undergoing serious issues to deal with wanton logging. The same can be said with any gazetted Forest Reserves around the country.
And in Coast Region. There is already a water problem. Fresh water that is. Most people have sunk boreholes that only have saline water. Fresh water sources are as per the link below…
Which goes ahead to confirm how important that Aberdare ecosystem is for Water Supply in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale Counties. We are all tied to this issue of water catchment areas. If one is destroyed the others will go down that road.
Muranga has to be a very unique area geographically. All this time I knew it's more of a Windward side of Mount Kenya and Leeward side of Aberdares hence the unique climate. Some areas of Muranga suffer landslides owing to rain. Others are at risk of water shortages
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