The Government of Netherland through its Kenyan Embassy has launched a Sh 507 million water project, aimed at supplementing government efforts in enhancing water security, through protection of key catchment areas in the Country.
The flagship project called ‘Catchment to Tap [C2T]’ is a five year [2021 – 2025] initiative, that aims at creating a linkage between Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene [WASH], while also addressing emerging challenges to water use and exploitation in key catchment areas.
According to the World Wide Fund, C2T Project Leader William Ojwang’, the initiative will help address major threats to water sources, including catchment degradation, unsustainable land use and practices, increased pollution, deforestation and the adverse effects of climate change.
Dr Ojwang’ said through enhanced collaborative approach with both National and County Governments, they will address the major issues through creating awareness on the need to protect water catchment areas, building capacity for relevant government agencies and personnel and knowledge sharing to ensure informed and timely interventions.
He said that climate change is presenting major challenges in effective management of water resources, supply and sanitation services and therefore a holistic approach is needed to ensure that the government achieves its development goals, Big 4 Agenda and the vision 2030 projects sustainably.
Speaking in Naivasha, Rose Mackenzie, a Senior Embassy Officer, said the project will address the concerns of increased water demands for growing agricultural practices, industries and increased water consumption due to unprecedented population growth and urbanization along major catchment areas.
Ms. Mackenzie said the Embassy will build capacity, train and provide the expertise in creating awareness and strengthening operations of water companies and regulators.
Water Resources Authority [WRA] Senior Manager, John Kinyanjui, welcomed the support, noting that the country has been identified as water stretched and therefore the conservation of key catchment areas is crucial in ensuring clean and quality water for all.
Kinyanjui said that the Government has scaled-up enforcement operations of water abstraction in key water towers, adding that it plays a critical role to the economy, more so under the current pandemic where more clean and unpolluted water was needed.
The project will be implemented by the World Wide Fund and the Netherlands based firm WaterNet through a close collaboration with key National and County Governments’ agencies and regulators.
By Erastus Gichohi and Calvin Osiemo