IMPACTS OF URBANIZATION ON WATER CATCHMENT AREAS – A CASE STUDY OF LEKURRUKI LOCATION IN NGONG TOWN

ABSTRACT

The study focuses on the planning challenges facing water catchment areas especially those bordering growing urban centres. Water catchment areas are considered the source of water, air freshening and basically sustainable environments.

It is in this premise that this study is based. It aims at investigating the relationship between Ngong’ – a fast growing town and its surrounding water catchment areas, that is, Ngong’ Hills of which Lekurruki Location forms part. In particular, the challenges faced by water catchment areas as a result of the uncontrolled growth of urban centres. The need to identify these challenges and put in place effective measures to handle them is especially crucial as cities continue to expand even more rapidly.

The formulation of the research proposal was the first step after identification of the problem of encroachment of catchment areas as a pertinent planning issue in Ngong town. This is what formed the basis of the research project. Review of relevant literature for purposes of gaining more enlightenment on the issue then followed. With a strong and informed background, field survey and data collection were consequently executed. This involved interviewing households, businesses, key informants and focus group discussions. Finally analysis of the data was conducted using spss and other analytical techniques leading to the study findings.

The study revealed that the Ngong Hills Water Catchment area has not been given enough attention by the government, in particular Olkejuado County Council, Physical Planning Department in the Ministry of Lands and planners whose major work is organization of activities on land space. That is, there exists no planning framework laid down to guide development next to and within the Ngong Hills Water catchment area. There is therefore urgent need to take necessary action to prevent an impending disaster as, sooner than expected, the catchment areas are likely to be converted to built up areas and without water mankind cannot survive hence the need to conserve all catchment areas.

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