In a bold move to address the challenges of water conservation and management in the Ewaso Nyiro sub-catchment, public and private representatives of water interests met in December 2015 to initiate a new water resources partnership.
Representatives from Water Departments within Meru and Nyeri Counties, joined their Laikipia counterpart at a meeting that included green growers, WRUAs, flower farms, ranches, CETRAD, Mt. Kenya Trust, Rural Focus and LWF. The meeting, held at the Lions Court Inn on December 9, set the stage for development of a public-private partnership. Adding to the success of the meeting was a presentation by International Finance Corporation (IFC) which highlighted the opportunities provided by the 2030 Water Resources Group – a public-private-civil society partnership established at the World Economic Forum in 2008.
The meeting also benefitted from a presentation by Kamau Mbogo, CEO of Imarisha Naivasha, the nation’s first public-private water resources partnership focused on the Naivasha Lake and watershed.
LWF’s implementing partner, Rural Focus, gave a particularly strong presentation of the realities of water demand, use, distribution, and impacts to downstream water users in the three counties. “Unless we address this problem in a focused and collective manner, we can expect huge impacts on our rivers, downstream ecosystems and water users. There will be increasing water conflicts and serious impacts to livelihoods unless we address these issues now”, said Mike Thomas, Chief Engineer at Rural Focus.
The new partnership aims to address water abstraction, distribution, conservation and management across the three counties. Additional counties, particularly those downstream will be addressed in the near future. The meeting’s participants appointed a task force to take the new water partnership forward. The team will examine the scope, scale, structure, governance, and financing of the partnership. The 10-member task force will develop this road map by March 2016 and will be expected to address: sustainable water resource allocation and abstraction; water security and efficiency for small holder irrigation schemes; strengthen WRUA and WRMA capacity; and address the scale and impacts of groundwater use.
LWF will serve as secretariat to the task force and expects to play a significant role in the future of this new water resources partnership. For more information contact: James Mwangi, Water Programme Officer, at email@example.com or on 0727 998319