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Tana Game

Aim of this Game

To show the inter-relationship between flooding regimes and ecosystem integrity of the Tana delta; thereby set in motion  negotiations over equitable resource sharing between all stakeholders.

Issues addressed

  •         Insufficient flood release by current and dams
  •           Resource based conflicts
  •      Livelihood and Biodiversity loss due to habitat fragmentation (dying indigenous          forests, little to no ground water recharge, threat to migratory bird habitats/breeding colonies)
  •         Changing land use systems
  •           Ecosystem degradation
  •          Unsustainable water abstraction
  •          Salt water intrusion
  •          Large scale irrigation projects
  •      Encroachment on coastal dunes and terraces
  •           Alien species invasion
  •          Lack of coordinated management of the delta

Game structure / Spatial map

Players' roles & other relevant stakeholders

Artisanal Fishermen

Role: make money and sustain family

Pastoralists/ Livestock keepers

Role:  make money, sustain family and maintain fertilization function of Flood plain (cattle defecation= organic manure for farmers, grazing pasture and fish)

Recession agriculture farmers

Role: Make money and sustain family

Small scale Irrigation farmers

Role: make money and sustain family

Large scale farmers/ development investors

Role: make money  and maintain ecological balance

Resources considered

  • land
  • money
  • biodiversity (forests, wildlife)
  • flood water

Activities per role

Artisanal Fishermen


-          Fishing

-          Banana growing

-      Charcoal burning

-          Bee keeping

-          Construction poles

-          Medicinal plant harvesting

Pastoralists/ Livestock keepers


-          Cattle grazing

-          Charcoal burning

-        Fishing

-        Construction poles

Small- scale farmers (1)


-          Maize

-          Flood  Rice

-          Bananas

-          Vegetables

-          Fishing

-          Mat making

-          Construction poles

-          Crocodile egg harvesting

-          Wild date palms

-       Tidal Rice

-        Doum palms

-          Nipa palms

Small scale  farmers (2)


-          Tomato farming

-          Banana farming

-          Mango farming

-          Vegetable farming

Large-scale developers 


-          Bio-fuel farming

-          Rice farming

-          Dam construction/water abstraction

Environmental dynamic

  • Alien species invasion
  • salt water intrusion
  • Biodiversity and Habitat loss

Rules for the players

Initial situation

  • Tidal rice cultivation can only be done during a good flood
  • Water abstraction for large scale irrigation should not exceed set limit 
  • Charcoal burning and farming in the dunes is prohibited, repercussions are heavy fines and possible jail time
  • In time of 'little flood' fish catches are restricted to a pre-determined quota

Game organization

  •         River Tana
  •        Garsen Town
  •     Branching of river into matomba (main) and oda branches 
  •      Flood plain (on both sides of matomba branch) supports pastoralism
  •    Small channels in the flood plain- feed lake Bilisaboka and lake Moa
  •    Oda branch (with many small villages) supports small scale farming
  •    Rejoining of the two branches at Kau
  •    Exit of river at Kipini
  •    Salt water intrusion from Kipini inwards