Kenya: KEWASNET - Civil Society Strengthening in Water Resource Management

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KEWASNET and the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) work together to improve water resources management and water stewardship knowledge and skills of KEWASNET, its members, and other selected counties.
KEWASNET is a well-established network, recognised by civil society organisations, the public sector and local administration. Its main objectives are to:

  • build and strengthen the capacity structures of member civil society organisations (CSOs)
  • influence the water and sanitation sector reforms with greater involvement from civil society in decision-making and policy implementation
  • provide a platform for diverse voices from CSOs, and
  • monitor government commitment to WRM budget allocation and transparent budget justification

CSOs and networks play an important role in the sustainability and anchoring of projects. However, CSOs often lack capacity in some areas of expertise, which means that they are not able to fulfil their expected and desired roles, such as facilitation, information-provision, monitoring, awareness creation, lobbying and advocacy. The CSOs in Kenya have been mainly focussing on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and would like to expand their expertise to water resources management (WRM). CSOs specifically want to support with the implementation of the new WRM mandates of the counties.

KEWASNET and IWaSP are, therefore, partnering to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations and selected counties. This cooperation will support the good functioning and implementation of integrated water resources management principles and will stimulate effective and operational multi-stakeholder partnerships between government, private sector and CSOs in Kenya.


Approach and Objectives

Key objectives of the cooperation are:

  • Developing a clear water resource management and water stewardship strategy
  • Strengthening the knowledge of KEWASNET’s members and selected counties on the water sector, water resource management and water stewardship
  • Incorporating and implementing water resource management and water stewardship strategies by member organisations
  • Developing a water resource management and water stewardship strategy or policy, with allocated budgets, for three counties
  • Establishing thematic working groups and communities which operate at regional, national and county levels
  • Providing CSOs and water resource management advocates with capacity to provide periodic reporting on government accountability to water resource management commitments

In Kenya, IWaSP helps to ensure the sustainability of catchment areas and water resources and increases the adaptation capacities of stakeholders to effects of climate change. It is also actively taking measures to strengthen public and civil society sectors involved in water resource management at national and county levels to effectively address shared water risks in their areas of jurisdiction.

Create and support regional study circles and learning and exchange forums for CSOs to enhance their knowledge on WRM topics (according to local needs).

Participate in events to involve stakeholders in WRM related topics and to create awareness, e.g. for World Water Day and International Wetland Day.


Challenges and Outlook

Some of the key activities for further focus include:

  • Sharing lessons learned and organising an awareness event
  • Starting water stewardship projects in counties
  • Expanding the approach to other counties (which have not yet been targeted) and to other IWaSP countries
  • Facilitating the sustainability of water resource management funding at county and national levels


Country Set-up

In Kenya, IWaSP is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and is anchored in the bilateral and GIZ-implemented Water Sector Reform Programme (WSRP). IWaSP Kenya focuses on enabling multi-stakeholder partnerships and co-operations on basin level.

IWaSP is an international water security programme which combines global best practices in water stewardship with local know-how. Currently active in seven countries, the six-year programme (2013-2018) facilitates partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and civil society to address shared water risks, while improving stakeholders’ use and management of water and building their capacity to develop their own solutions. GIZ manages IWaSP on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).


Contact Information

Anne Marie Ran
Country Coordinator