Gender Disparities in Water Resource Management Projects in Njoro Sub-County, Kenya


Wambu, Charles K., and Moses Kindiki. 2015. “Gender Disparities in Water Resource Management Projects in Njoro Sub-County, Kenya.” International Journal of Social Science Studies 3 (2): 123–29. doi: 10.11114/ijsss.v3i2.703.

Authors: Charles K. Wambu, Moses Kindiki


Gender disparities are of major concern, in water resources management because men and women play different roles and have different rights on water usage and it is important to take in account the interest of both genders into account. Njoro Sub-county is currently facing a serious problem of water scarcity as a result of several factors such as poor management, loss of forest cover, climatic variability, population increase, and limited endowment of the resource. Water being an economic good and a cost attached to its development, distribution, operation and maintenance there has been gender disparity in its management. Women are responsible for multiple uses of water resources and principal decision-makers regarding domestic uses and sharing responsibility with men for productive uses. However men often control this resource and make major decisions related to location and type of facilities available hence the need to investigate why women despite their vital stake in water affairs, they are frequently overlooked and under-represented in water policy decisions and in water projects committees. The argument in this paper is that gender disparities may have resulted in overexploitation and mismanagement of water resources. 

Keywords: gender disparities, water resource management, gender, equity


This paper analyzes the gendered factors to the planning and implementation of water resource projects and analyzed gender contribution in co-ordination and operation of water resource projects. The study paid specific attention to water management at the household level in the Njoro-Sub county of Kenya. While the women in the community played the largest role in household water collection and usage, men had the most say over water rights and distribution. The study found that most women in the community were barred from the water management and planning process due to cultural customs and traditional gender roles. Sustainable water management projects were not attained, leading to household water shortages that place greater burdens on women. The study concludes with recommendations on including women in water projects due to their extensive knowledge of water resources, along with incorporating women’s rights initiatives that respect the traditional expectations of the community. 

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

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