Nyando River: A wonder river in Kenya

The Nyando River is one of the major Rivers in the Lake Victoria Basin. River Nyando originates from two indigenous forests in the Rift Valley: Mau Forest and Tinderet forest. Mau forest complex, the largest indigenous montane forest in East Africa, covers 273,000 hectares. The Nyando River has its headwaters in the Mau Forest complex situated on the eastern shoulder of the Kenyan Rift Valley and pours its waters into Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria after traversing the Kano Plains. As the river passes through the complex, it grows, buoyed by streams and springs, irrigation canals and small rivers such as Awach, Nyalbiego, Asawo, Ombeyi, Miriu, Sondu, Nyaidho and Omondo.

The Nyando catchment in the eastern sub-catchments of the Lake Victoria Basin is located in the
Lake Victoria South Catchment Area in Kenya. It covers an area of 3,600 km2 and is situated
within the Winam Gulf between longitudes 34o
47”E and 35o
44”E, and latitudes 0o
07”N and
20”S (Figure 2.1). The main land use activities in the catchment include indigenous and plantation
forests, agriculture and shrub land. On the upper reaches of the catchment, agricultural activities
include subsistence farming of food crops (e.g. maize, millet, sorghum, potatoes) and cash crops
(e.g., tea, coffee, and sugarcane) and dairy farming.

Nyando Wetland is located in Kisumu County and is a large deltaic wetland which is approximately
14,400ha in size. The wetland, which is at the mouth of the River Nyando, fringes Lake Victoria. It covers
three administrative districts of Nyando, Nyakach and Kisumu East.
Kenya’s wetlands occupy about 3% to 4% of the total landmass, which is approximately 14,000km2

of the land surface and increase up to 6% in the rainy seasons
are often the zone of transition between dryland and a water body.

It drains parts of Nandi, Kericho and Nyando districts. It has a catchment area of about 3600 km−2 of Western Kenya and an average discharge of approximately 15 m3 s−1, and has within it some of the most severe problems of environmental degradation and deepening poverty found anywhere in Kenya. The Nyando River drains into the Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria and is a major contributor of sediment.


River Nyando is one of the rivers in Nyando river basin prone to flooding every year causing enormous loss of lives and property in the lower Kano plains. The Authority is currently undertaking rehabilitation works on dykes earlier developed to contain floods in the Nyando area.

Location and scope of the project Areas
Nyando flood control project is located at the Lower Kano Plain in Western Kenya Kisumu County and covers three (3) sub Counties namely Nyando Sub County}. Nyakach Sub County and Muhoroni Sub County). Currently the works are in Nyando Sub County around Ahero Township.

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