ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS ON THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM OF THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MARA RIVER CATCHMENT IN KENYA

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ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS ON THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM OF THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MARA RIVER CATCHMENT IN KENYA E.J. Gereta, E. Wolanski and E.A.T. Chiombola JANUARY, 2003
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ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS ON THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM OF THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MARA RIVER CATCHMENT IN KENYA E.J. Gereta, E. Wolanski and E.A.T. Chiombola JANUARY, 2003 Acknowledgement Very sincere gratitudes and appreciation are extended to all individuals and organisations that offered direct or indirect assistance to this study and preparation of the report especially the district authorities of Serengeti, Musoma Rural and Tarime Districts. It will be impossible to mention everybody who has contributed to this work. However, without the support of the following, this work could not be done. Dr. Markus Borner of Frankfurt Zoological Society for funding and supporting the study. Dr. Simon Mduma for his contribution in the preparation of the text based on his rich knowledge and experience of the Serengeti ecosystem. Mr. G. Bigurube, the Acting Director General of Tanzania National Parks for his encouragement in supporting the study. Prof. Tony Sinclair for his comments based on his many years of research in the Serengeti ecosystem on the study and his encouragement. Special thanks should also go to the Chief Park Warden, Serengeti National Park and his staff especially Mr. Chuwa, Park Warden, Outreach Programme for their tireless support to the study and provision of logistics to visit various District Authorities when collecting data. Also not to be forgotten Mr. David Mattaka of Lighthouse Group for taking his time to go through the report and edit it to the perfection needed. Last but not least, Mr. Festo of FZS for handling all administrative logistics in the facilitation of the study. This study is dedicated to TANAPA in trying to conserve and manage the Serengeti ecosystem sustainably. i TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY... 1 AMALA PROJECT... 1 DEGAZETTEMENT OF THE MAU FOREST... 1 DISLOCATION OF SURROUNDING ECOSYSTEMS... 2 SERENGETI MARA ECOSYSTEM... 2 LAKES NATRON, NAKURU AND BOGORIA ECOSYSTEMS... 2 THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT TO TANZANIA... 3 AS NOTED ABOVE, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE PROJECTS IN KENYA WILL OBVIOUSLY AFFECT THE ECOSYSTEMS OF THE SURROUNDING REGION, AND WITH IT, THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE REGION. TOURISM INDUSTRY WILL ALSO BE SERIOUSLY AFFECTED AS DESCRIBED BELOW TOURISM SECTOR... 3 AGRICULTURAL SECTOR... 3 RECOMMENDATION... 3 CHAPTER INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND... 5 INTRODUCTION... 5 BACKGROUND INFORMATION... 7 TANZANIA S GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS... 7 TANZANIA S ECONOMIC OVERVIEW... 7 GOVERNMENT PLANS AND PRIORITIES... 8 CHAPTER USE OF AN ECOHYDROLOGY MODEL TO PREDICT THE IMPACT ON THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MARA RIVER CATCHMENT IN KENYA, INCLUDING DEFORESTATION, IRRIGATION AND THE PROPOSED AMALA WEIR WATER DIVERSION PROJECT... 9 ii SITE DESCRIPTION... 9 HYDROLOGY OF THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM... 9 IMPACT OF DEFORESTATION, IRRIGATION AND THE AMALA WEIR ON THE WATER BUDGET: HYDROLOGIC PREDICTIONS IMPACT OF THE AMALA WEIR ON THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM: ECOHYDROLOGY MODEL PREDICTIONS DISCUSSION CHAPTER THE SERENGETI ECOSYSTEM AS IT EXISTS NOW GRASSLAND STABLE STATE ELEPHANT NUMBERS AND DISTRIBUTION THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER QUALITY IN DRIVING THE SERENGETI-MARA WILDEBEEST MIGRATION LESSER FLAMINGOS (PHOENICONAIAS MINOR) DISTRIBUTION OF FLAMINGOS FLAMINGOS FOOD AND FEEDING BEHAVIOUR THE IMPACT OF AMALA PROJECT TO FLAMINGOS CHAPTER ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS TO TANZANIA OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROPOSED AMALA WEIR WATER PROJECT IN KENYA ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF THE AMALA PROJECT ON TOURISM TOURISM INDUSTRY: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE TOURIST ARRIVALS AND TOURISM RECEIPTS WORLD HOTEL CAPACITY THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IN TANZANIA AN OVERVIEW iii THE ROLE OF THE SERENGETI TO THE TOURISM SECTOR OVERVIEW SOCIO-ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SERENGETI TOURIST VISITORS REVENUE GENERATION EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE TO COMMUNITIES ASSISTANCE TO TOURISM ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF AMALA PROJECT ON AGRICULTURE THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE IN TANZANIA FEATURES OF AGRICULTURAL SECTOR LAND AREA FARM SIZE ASSETS AND PRODUCTIVITY LIVESTOCK (WATER AND PASTURE) AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES (IRRIGATION) AGRICULTURAL LABOUR FORCE LITERACY RATES (EDUCATION) PERFORMANCE OF THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR FOOD CROPS CASH CROPS NON-TRADITIONAL CROPS LIVESTOCK AND ITS PRODUCTS AGRICULTURAL AND LIVESTOCK POLICY OBJECTIVES iv AGRICULTURAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO AGRICULTURE IN THE MARA BASIN AREAS IF DROUGHT OCCURS AND THE MARA DRIES OFF? A REVIEW OF THE MARA REGION CROP PRODUCTION IRRIGATION AND HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF AMALA PROJECT ON WILDLIFE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF AMALA PROJECT ON FISHERIES THE FISHERIES SUB-SECTOR FISHERIES IN MARA RIVER GENERAL HEALTH STATUS IN THE COUNTRY THE MARA RIVER BASIN HEALTH STATUS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF AMALA PROJECT ON WATER GENERAL RURAL WATER SUPPLY UTILIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL WATERS CHAPTER CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCLUSION REFERENCES v vi Amala Project EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Introduction The Government of Kenya is proposing two development concepts, which are considered to impact on the environmental and socio-economic dynamics of the region surrounding the Mara River in particular, Tanzania and Kenya in general. Even more devastating, will be the loss of Tanzania s unique endowment and national heritage for which there is a protracted effort not only by the Tanzania Government, but also by the world community at large to conserve the ecosystem for the benefit of the present and future generations. These development concepts are described as follow: Amala Project The proposed Amala Project in the Ewaso Ngiro (South) River is a multipurpose project in Narok and Kajiado Districts in Kenya consisting of a cascade of development of three hydroelectric schemes on the Ewaso Ngiro (South) River with a transfer scheme from Amala River to the headwaters of the Ewaso Ngiro River. Since Amala River flows southwards into Mara River which passes through the Serengeti Ecosystem and finally into Lake Victoria, the diversion of water from Amala River catchments into the Ewaso Ngiro, will substantially reduce the volume of water available in the Mara River and may lead to complete drying of the River in times of severe drought. Scientific analysis has determined that these developments in Kenya will severely affect the Serengeti Ecosystem along with its attendant socio-economic activities. Degazettement of the Mau Forest The Mau Forests form very crucial water catchments for some of the large rivers in Kenya, which feed such Lakes as Nakuru and Bogoria in Kenya as well as Lakes Victoria and Natron in Tanzania. Furthermore, the Mara River originates from the forests where it has crucial water catchments. The degazettement of the Mau Forests to provide more agricultural land will, therefore, adversely affect water volumes and flows of these rivers through denudation of their critical catchments around the Mau Hills and will thus compound the problem which will be created by the diversion of water from Amala River to the head- waters of Ewaso Ngiro (South) River. Besides the two proposed developments concepts, there is also irrigated farming which is going on along the river basins up-stream in Kenya. This activity has two main effects to Tanzania; first it reduces the amount of water that remains available down-stream in Tanzania, and second it may lead to contamination of the Mara River waters as a result of utilizing pesticides. Migration Prof. Sinclair, a prominent researcher with thirty (30) years of experience with Serengeti ecosystem, notes that the spectacular annual event of migration occurs because of the wildebeest, need to find permanent water during the dry season. It so happens that the Mara River, the only permanent flowing water of sufficient quantities for the large herds in the Serengeti Ecosystem. Furthermore, migration determines the large numbers of wildebeest, which in turn determines just about every other aspect of the ecosystem including the structure of the plains and the Savanna woodlands, the number of most other ungulates and the population of predators. If the wildebeest were to collapse to one fifth of their present size, then all these aspects would change and possibly there would be no migration. It should be noted further that migration is the reason that Serengeti is a world heritage site. Previous Engineering Study It is noted that the engineering feasibility study of the hydroelectric project (Knight Piesold, 1992) argued that for a typical year, the project would not modify the mean discharge of the Mara and the project would not impact the Serengeti ecosystem. However, this prediction flawed. Firstly, no prediction of the availability of water in the Mara River during a drought was carried out by Knight Piesold because the data used in the study spanned over the years when no severe drought occurred. Secondly, the study Knight Piesold made did not adequately calculate the availability of water in the Mara River as it flows through the Serengeti ecosystem because it neglected the impact of deforestation and irrigation in Kenya. Thirdly, the study did not include the additional impact on the 1 availability of water resulting from likely climatic changes from enhanced green effect. Furthermore, Prof. Sinclair notes that over the past thirty years, the flow in the Mara River has been decreasing at a remarkable rate. Therefore the assertion that diverting water from the source would not interrupt the flow carries with it a high element of risk. Given that risk, it is important to invoke the precautionary principle and state that any action to increase the risk of the Mara River drying should be discouraged. Prof. Sinclair further notes that the other ecological and environmental problems where they act together will exacerbate the stresses, hence, the importance of the precautionary principle. These observations made by Sinclair tend to agree with the findings of Wolanski et al (2000). Dislocation of Surrounding Ecosystems Scientific studies have shown that water quantity and quality constitute the single most dominant force driving the ecosystems of the surrounding region. It is obvious that these developments in Kenya will result into serious dislocation of the ecosystems within the region. Not only will they affect the vegetation dynamics of the area and the ensuing vegetation patterns, they will also influence the degree of salinity of such lakes as Nakuru, Bogoria, Victoria and Natron and the extent to which these lakes become sodic. All these have important bearing to the flora and fauna of the region. In this study, an ecohydrology model was used to predict the likely impact of the water stress to be caused by these developments on the Serengeti ecosystem. The model was forced by observed monthly rainfall in the period and calibrated against observations of the number of wildebeests and lions during the same period. It predicts that, during a drought, 20% to 80% of the migrating wildebeest might die depending on the severity and duration of the drought. Furthermore with a 50% die-off, it may take twenty (20) years for the wildebeest population to recover while with 80% die-off; there may be no recovery of the wildebeest population. A model sensitivity analysis, which was carried out, suggests that these predictions are reliable to the extent of 80%. Serengeti Mara Ecosystem The combined effect of deforestation, irrigation and the Amala water diversion will result in times of drought, in a flow rate, which would be smaller than the water consumption in the Serengeti ecosystem by animals drinking and evaporation. The pools of water in the riverbed will dry out. Once the pools dry out, the wildlife will start dying at an estimated rate of 30% per week starting from the end of the first week. At this juncture it is important to note that the Serengeti ecosystem as it exists now supports the largest herds of migrating ungulates including the highest concentrations of large predators in the world. It is estimated that there are about 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 440,000 Thomson gazelles. Among predators, hyenas are thought to be the most numerous estimated at about 9,000 followed by lions estimated at 3,000 and cheetahs at about 250. There is also an array of other large and small mammals and over 500 species of birds. This ecosystem is also unique because of the migration system it supports. This annual event consists of about 1.2 mill wildebeests, 250,000 zebras, 5,000 elands and 400,000 Thomson s gazelles. All these use the Mara system as their dry season refuge because the Mara River is the only permanent water source in the Masai-Mara and the Serengeti National Park. In 1993, following a severe drought experienced by the Serengeti region, about 400,000 wildebeest perished. It is, therefore, possible that a prolonged drought exacerbated with a higher extraction of water to meet power demands may lead to a loss of migratory wildebeest by about 30% during the first two weeks, and possibly leaving a negligible number at the end of one month. Furthermore, loss of drinking water for large vertebrates including lack of food in a prolonged drought, semi aquatic crocodiles and hippos as well as terrestrial large animals such as elephants, buffalo, topi, reedbuck, waterbuck, and others will be severely affected. Since, historically, drought occurs once every seven years and severe drought once every twenty years, these events may occur in the not too distant a future given that the last severe drought occurred in Lakes Natron, Nakuru and Bogoria Ecosystems The ecosystems of these lakes support the lifestyles of millions of flamingos. They host about 98% of the total world population of lesser flamingos, whose biomass is more than 90% of all water birds in the world. These flamingos are well adapted to walking and swimming in sodic waters and have very specialized diet, feeding as well as breeding behavior which is wholly dependent on the level of salinity of the lakes and the extent to which they are sodic. Flamingos display nomadic movements both within and between these lakes, which are associated with food availability, fresh water points as 2 well as conditions for successful breeding. Thus while Lake Nakuru provides a feeding and display site, Lake Natron is their only successful breeding site and Lake Bogoria as their stable lake and refuge when other shallow lakes dry out. Recent studies have shown that these flamingos play very important ecological and economical roles and yet even as of now, their survival is uncertain due to influence of human activities. These developments in Kenya will only worsen the situation and will lead to reduction and ultimately the extinction of these birds. The social and Economic Impact to Tanzania As noted above, the implementation of these projects in Kenya will obviously affect the ecosystems of the surrounding region, and with it, the socio-economic dynamics of the people of the region. Tourism industry will also be seriously affected as described below. Tourism Sector Tanzania could lose up to 125,000 (about 40%) tourists or visitors currently visiting Serengeti. Given the average annual rate of increase of 12.3%, the figure would have grown to 397,330 by the year Furthermore, the other parks of Northern Tourist Zone would get very few visitors, if any, since most of them, if not all, do come because of the famous Serengeti. In effect, therefore, Tanzania may lose about 75% of all the tourists coming to the country. This works out to be about 238,814 visitors by 2001 statistics and the figure would grow to about 510,828 by the year In terms of revenue generation Serengeti National Park will outright lose more than USD 6,040,290 and this is projected to increase to USD 40,636,057 by the year 2011 at an average annual rate of 21%. Considering the Northern zone aspect, the loss would be USD 13,932,938 by 2001 statistics and would grow to USD 70,488,117 by the year 2011, the average annual rate being 17.6%. Serengeti s existing workforce of about 385 people will lose their jobs as well as their income amounting to about TAS 836 million. This will mean suffering not only to themselves, but also to their dependants, particularly spouses and children. Communities living around the national park will no longer benefit from the support they have been getting in terms of community based development projects. Communities around Serengeti National Park will be losing an average of about TAS 40 million per year. The Government will lose tax revenues it has been getting from the operations of the park. Serengeti District, for example, will be losing an annual tax income of more than TAS 1.0 billion from the operations of the Serengeti National Park. Serengeti National Park has been getting significant amounts of donations and assistance from various countries and institutions. If the park collapses the donations and assistance will cease. As an example, the donation to Serengeti National Park from Frankfurt Zoological Society during the first half of 2000 was close to Euros 1,440,000. This amount would have been lost. Agricultural Sector The majority of people living in this region engage in agriculture and livestock keeping as their economic activities. The Mara River supports these activities. In the event of serious and prolonged drought, this region will lose about TAS 17bn. worth of crops, TAS 25bn. worth of livestock and annual milk production worth TAS 960 mill. Apart from these monetary values, livestock in this part of the country is associated with other intrinsic cultural and social values, which will also be lost. The fisheries sub-sector will also be affected with an expected loss of foreign earnings amounting to the equivalent of TAS 65bn.Other development projects impacting on health, water supply etc. based on Mara River will also be adversely affected. Recommendation It is a fact that science and technological advances, with time, will bring about solutions to the numerous problems associated with power and food production. Indeed experience has shown that 3 human ingenuity has never failed them in their quest for survival and better living conditions. However, the story of creation has been different, and no historical data has suggested that human ingenuity can create such wonderful creatures of God as elephants, wildebeest, giraffes etc. It is no wonder, therefore, that there is redoubled effort to conserve and protect wildlife anywhere in the world. It is for this reason that it is proposed that a transboundary Mara River Management Plan be established which will take into account the cost-benefit analysis (for Kenya and Tanzania) of deforestation, irrigation and the proposed Ewaso Ngiro (South) Hydropower Project as well as to factor in the likely changes to rainfall and hence river discharge arising from climatic changes due to enhanced greenhouse effect. As it is now, with the proposed developments in Kenya, the economic benefits will go to Kenya while most of the environmental and socio-economic costs such as loss of national heritage; negative impact on tourism industry etc would be borne by Tanzania. The idea here is to request the Government of Kenya in the spirit of East African Community and Regional Cooperation, not to take unilateral decision and go ahead with the projects. It is further recommended that the Government of Tanzania should set aside adequate funding for a more detailed study on how to avert possible collapse of the said ecosystems even without those projects going ahead; considering, for example, the effects of the evolving climatic changes associated with greenhouse effects. 4 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Introduction The government of Kenya is proposing to develop a hydroelectric power scheme named AMALA PROJECT and DEGAZ
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