Rivers are essentially unique landscape elements. Each river therefore requires design measures attuned to their specific character. This research aims to provide design guidelines for river Sosiani’s riverfront development. It offers concepts applicable to the riverfront within the urban area. The study entails observational findings of the existing conditions along River Sosiani and these is used to provide the basis for analysis and recommendations. The guidelines are a tool to evaluate and implement projects that are in accordance to sustainable design principles. For the general riverfront of Sosiani, the design guidelines seek to establish an identifiable approach for designers, planners, landowners and developers.
A river out of control is an awesome sight, a source of great destruction. A river, therefore, is controlled as it passes from a natural landscape into the town or the city. (Moughtin, 2003)
CHAPTER 1: STUDY BACKGROUND
Eldoret town is located between latitudes 000 03’S S and 0055’N and Longitudes 34050’E and 35017’E. River Sosiani is a confluent of two streams originating from Kaptagat forest. These two rivers meet at the Two Rivers Dam, a source of water for the town of Eldoret. From here River Sosiani flows through the Eldoret CBD and down to Kipkaren river which drains to the River Nzoia basin. Eldoret town is one of the fastest growing towns in Kenya today recording a population of 289,380 in the 2009 census and in 2019 recorded a population of 475, 716 inhabitants. This high rate of urbanization has led to the rise of various problems within the urban area such as the growth of informal settlements and pollution. In turn, these has caused a lot of pressure on infrastructure and natural resources such as the Sosiani river.
River Sosiani has always been a great resource to the city of Eldoret. Not only is it historically significant in being the source of the city’s name, it has always been the source of water supply for the city. Piped water was first supplied from the river to the Uganda railway extension 1928 when it reached Eldoret. The river is a major landscape element in the catchment area and has attracted many people to settle along it. The land use patterns along it are majorly agricultural and industrial. It also provides various recreational and tourism activities. The Koromosho falls and Two Rivers Dam are some of the places that attract various local and international tourists to Eldoret.
River Sosiani has received a lot of attention in the past few years from the county government of Eldoret, municipal government and nationwide. The Urban Rivers Rehabilitation Program (URRP) lists river Sosiani as one of the rivers that is allocated 1.5-2 billion shillings annually to clean and sustain its rehabilitation. (Register for Meteoroly policy and bill validation workshop, 2017). Primary stakeholders involved in the rehabilitation of the river include; NEMA, the County Government of Uasin Gishu and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.