Water fuels every aspect of life. It’s essential for basic health and hygiene, and it drives society’s most essential industries – agriculture, energy and transportation.
With climate change and climate variability come fluctuating rainfall and extreme temperatures, creating shorter rainy seasons and longer dry seasons. These shifts severely impact lives and livelihoods. Decreased water supplies mean more human suffering and increased risk of instability, violent conflict and migration. Often the areas most deeply affected by environmental changes are already impoverished and lack the resources necessary for sound water management. Of course, availability does little good unless the water is also within the reach of the average individual.
The EMU SACCO offers a pragmatic community-based approach to water security within the Ewaso Basin by providing a platform where water users do their monthly savings and generate a borrowing fund that supports water users at household levels to access finances for household-level investment in water harvesting, storage and efficient use.
Water security starts with water availability. There must be enough water to satisfy diverse —and sometimes conflicting — needs. When households have water, their ability to improve sanitation and hygiene is enhanced. This is nowhere more evident than during this COVID pandemic era. EMU SACCO does this by providing financial solutions to improve water security which leads to sustainable economic empowerment, improvements in livelihoods, and better health and sanitation for its members within the Ewaso Basin.
Maji Chap Chap.
Final touches on Agnes Wambui’s newly constructed water pan before placing the liner
Agnes Wambui recalls sadly, how she has lost crops due to prolonged and unexpected droughts. She narrates the agony of being a rain-fed dependent farmer and describes the challenges for her and her family. She says she has low resilience to shocks and is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Although a riparian landowner, Agnes often has limited access to n water, and face competition from other water users upstream. The lack of water for irrigation has repercussions on productivity, and her situation is further challenged by the increased unreliability of rainfall.
Since joining Emu Sacco in January this year, Agnes has dreamed of acquiring a water pan that would boost her irrigated farming. Her belief in the Sacco made her save consistently.
She then approached EMU SACCO for a loan to build a water pan in October.
With her loan approval and the support of Emu Sacco’s service providers, Agnes was able to put construct her water pan with a storage capacity of 1 million litres.
Placement of the liner at the water pan
With her own source of secure water, Agnes has geared up her agro-business. For instance Agnes has increased her acreage under potatoes from ½ acre to 1.5 acres. She says excitedly how she has now ventured into fruit farming and has planted watermelons on ¼ acre and oranges on another ¼ acre. Agnes is also talking of adding fish farming to her farm.
Agnes Wambuis’ complete 1 Miliion litres waterpan
Water security means not only access and availability for all, but also stewardship. Smart water managers and users contribute to the protection and preservation of water resources and associated ecosystems.
Safe water use promotes resilience. When communities manage water responsibly, they build their ability to withstand, recover from and adapt to water risks.
EMU SACCO is now helping Agnes be a good water steward by educating her how to use the water efficiently through drip irrigation. These will not only enhance efficient water use but also increase her crop productivity, lower the costs of farming and increase her profits.
Stay tuned and follow Agnes’ success.