All Issues
Current Issue

.Reprint (PDF) (1,116 KB)

Search Pubmed for articles by:

JM Mutune
SM Maingi

Search Google Scholar for articles by:

JM Mutune
SM Maingi

International Research Journal of Public and Environmental Health
Vol.4 (10),pp. 223-231, November 2017
ISSN 2360-8803
Available online at
Article 17/ID/JPRH040/09 pages
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.

Original Research Article

Adaptation mechanisms to water scarcity:The case of Ikutha sub-county of Kitui County in Kenya

Joshua M. Mutune1* and Simon M. Maingi2

1Faculty of Environmental Studies, Department of Environmental studies & Community Development, Kenyatta University –Kenya.
2Faculty of Environmental Studies, Department of Environmental Science, Kenyatta University –Kenya.

*Corresponding Author Email:Jmutune038(at)

date Received: September 20, 2017     date Accepted: October 23, 2017     date Published: November 17, 2017


Water as a resource on the earth surface is very important to living organisms without which they cannot survive. This problem is more endemic in Africa particularly in the arid and semi–arid areas of Kenya, and has now been worsened by the global weather changes. The main objective of this study was to assess the level of water security and identify adaptation mechanisms used by the residents. The study builds upon fieldwork undertaken in the rural sub-county of Ikutha in Kitui County in Kenya. The study used mixed methods approach to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The target population was rural water consumers. Key informants comprised of officials from the ministry of water and non-governmental organisations that have invested in water projects. Data collection methods utilised were structured questionnaires, focused group discussions, face to face interviews and direct observation. Statistical data was analysed through the Social Package of Social Sciences. The findings indicated that despite various stakeholders pulling resources together in an effort to provide safe and clean water to the residents, water scarcity still confronts many inhabitants in the sub-county. The common water sources were seasonal rivers, shallow wells, sand dams, weirs, rocks and roof catchments. However, the reliability of these sources was found to be low. This condition has forced the residents to devise adaptation mechanisms such as using sparingly, recycling water, and limiting the number of times one takes a bath. There is, therefore, an urgent call for all development stakeholders within that locality to invest more towards the attainment of water security and sustainability.

Key words: Water security, adaptation, ASAL, rock catchment, weirs, pans, NGO

Mutune and Maingi