The value of water: Making a business case for one of Kenya’s most vital resources
16 April 2021
Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund (UTNWF)
GEF Implementing Agency
To achieve a well-conserved Tana River basin with improved water quality and adequate quantities for downstream users, and strong benefits to agricultural communities in the source watershed.
land under integrated and sustainable management
GHG emissions avoided or reduced
Forests and wetlands in the Upper Tana River Basin project target area play an important role in maintaining water quality and quantity by storing and filtering runoff water. However, the growth of the agriculture sector in the area has resulted in an increase in soil erosion and sedimentation. This has reduced the capacity of reservoirs and increased the cost of water treatment. The challenges to water security will likely increase as climate change brings unpredictable rainfall, which threatens the resilience and food security of upstream smallholder farming systems.
The project is establishing a first-of-its-kind water fund in Africa. Through the project’s network of public agencies, NGOs, Community-Based Organisations, and private sector actors, the UTNWF is supporting smallholder farmers in rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, and the adoption of climate-smart farming practices.
The project is structured around three principal components:
Support is being provided to 21,000 smallholder farmer households in the adoption of climate-smart practices, leading to improved food security, climate change adaptation and resilience capabilities.
The project aims to meet the following targets:
UTNWF Platform institutionalised for policy development and institutional reform.
Improved Upper Tana catchment ecosystems that support livelihoods, food security and economic development.
Robust knowledge management and learning systems implemented to direct UTNWF management and share lessons both nationally and regionally.
The UTNWF is a multi-stakeholder platform involving public and private sector entities. Key stakeholders from government include the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, National Museums of Kenya, Water Resources Management Authority, and Kenya Forest Services. The Nature Conservancy is a technical partner, while private sector entities include the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company. The project is also closely engaging with county governments and research institutions, including Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and National Museums of Kenya (NMK).
Each RFS country project conducts activities that fall under common thematic areas within the programme. Explore each project theme relevant to the RFS Kenya country project below to see which activities are being implemented under each theme.
Stories from the Field
Explore our stories from the field to learn more about the activities, milestones, lessons learned, and achievements of the RFS Kenya project.
We have a growing library of reports, briefs, case studies, media, tools and guidelines. Explore all resources related to the RFS Kenya project to get greater insight into our programme activities.
This study guide, published in 2003, is largely based on experiences from the Farm Level Applied Research Methods for Eastern and Southern Africa– (FARMESA–) funded farmer field schools in Mbeere, Kenya and was produced in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture. It is intended for small scale farmers and extension workers interested in improving their crop production by learning more about how to manage on-farm soil and water resources more efficiently.
The manual can either be used by farmer groups in a structured learning setting, such as farmer field schools, or by informal self-study groups.
This article presents results from a livestock FFS project funded by FAO and the DFID Animal Health Programme, launched in 2001. The project applied and adapted FFS methodology to animal health and production for smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya. Ten pilot studies were established in five agro-ecological zones in Central, Rift Valley and Coastal Provinces of Kenya. This article includes important insights into the implementation of FFS with livestock as a focal point, with particular focus on approaches used to introduce integrated disease control methods, improve animal husbandry practices, and the efficient utilization of available feed resources.
This farmer field school implementation guide is based on the experiences gained from the Intensified Social Forestry Project (ISFP) in Kenya (2004 – 2009), which was financed by the Japan International Cooperation and implemented by Kenya Forest Service.
This FFS implementation guide was developed for project designers and managers as well as field practitioners who intend to use the FFS platform for extension and management support for farm forestry and forestry-based livelihood development. It contains an overview of the FFS approach, examples of how FFS was managed and implemented in the Intensified Social Forestry Project and a field guide for practitioners, offering step by step descriptions of FFS field implementation.
The Knowledge Centre is a central platform for sharing resources and information generated by the 12 Resilient Food Systems country projects and Regional Hub.
Within the Knowledge Centre, you can find helpful resources, tools, case studies, and news stories related to the different countries and themes of the Resilient Food Systems programme.