Water Resource Management and the Law
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Water Resource Management and the Law

Edited by Erkki J. Hollo

Scarcity of water, floods and erosion caused by climate change have made the management of water resources a challenge to national and international actors worldwide. States have also initiated water projects to improve social welfare, often with significant impacts on the environment. This book combines close analysis of the legal structures of water rights with consideration of the modes of water management projects to illustrate current water-related problems in terms of practical solutions in a global context.
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Chapter 5: Struggle for water rights between the natives and the European settlers: a case study of Njoro Kubwa Springs (1947–56)

Ezekiel Nyangeri Nyanchaga

Abstract

Kenya’s water history presents unique interrelationships and challenges in water rights. It is a transition from customary law to written law within the realm of the social and economic disparities of colonialism. The interests of the local Africans and those of European settler farmers in access to water in most cases conflicted owing to the different levels of their needs. Njoro Kubwa, an area with water within a relatively semi-arid area on the Kenyan coast, is the subject of water rights conflict between indigenous communities and European settlers. The laws guiding water rights acquisition were already established in 1947 and the process was long and elaborate. The process of acquiring a wayleave license was long, tedious and arduous. Water being a precious and a rare commodity, especially in the dry coastal area, had to be allocated in a manner that was not only just and equitable, but also seen as such. Keywords: Chapter 5 (Nyanchaga): Customary African law, Njoro Kubwa Springs conflict, Native Reserve Land, water abstraction, canal excavation, water permit

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