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Establishment of cooperation with KEWASNET to improve water resources management of civil society organisations and to monitor respective government efforts.
Cooperation with another GIZ programme (EnDev) leveraging established relationships with CSOs to reach beneficiaries
Increasing influence on policies and contributions to infrastructure from the Kenyan government
Context, Approach and Objectives

In Kenya, the International Water Stewarship Programme (IWaSP) aims to reach more than 250,000 people by improving water security and strengthening civil society organisations related to the management of water.


IWaSP Partnerships in Kenya

Partnership name

Sector/ thematic area


KEWASNET - Civil Society Strengthening in Water Resource Management

Strengthening of civil society organisation in water resource management

2015 – 2017

Imarisha Naivasha Water Stewardship Project

Agriculture and Retail/ Water Resources Protection

2013 - 2016

Nairobi Industrial Water Management

Multi sector cooperation for improved water resource management

2015 – 2017

Water Resource Users Associations Good Governance

Strengthening of civil society organisation in water resource protection

2015 – 2017

Jiko Kisasa Partnership

Collaboration with other GIZ programmes (EnDev) for increased impact and beneficiaries

2015 – 2018

Protection of South West Mau Forest Complex

Protection of the forest and catchments, regulation of the water resources, improvement of livelihoods and increased access to sustainable energy


IWASP currently runs four primary partnerships in Kenya.

The Imarisha Naivasha Water Stewardship partnership (2013-2016) focuses on developing water conservation infrastructures to improve water availability and to protect water resources. This includes strengthening water governance institutions and developing riparian land rehabilitationguidelines. Partners include Imarisha Naivasha which is supported by Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA), Water Resources User Associations (WRUAs) and IWaSP. One sub-component of the partnership focuses on water resources protection. For this IWaSP has established rainwater harvesting projects at five schools, one dispensary and a youth-led tree nursery.

The purpose of the Jiko Kisasa partnership (2015-2018), a sub-component of the Imarisha Naivasha Water Stewardship partnership, is to protect the shore of Lake Naivasha. Partnering with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), water resource users associations (WRUAs), the Water Resource Management Association (WRMA), and the Energising Development Programme (EnDev) in Kenya, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, IWaSP introduces energy-efficient, built-in household stoves which allow savings of 35-40% of firewood compared to the traditional three-stone fire stoves used in Kenya. Less demand for firewood allows for larger vegetation cover which contributes to catchment protection and increased storage and availability of water.

The Good Governance in Water Resource Management partnership (2015 – 2016), with the full name of the Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) Good Governance in Water Resource Management (WRM) and which is another sub-component of the Imarisha Naivasha Water Stewardship partnership, promotes the institutional capacity of local civil society associations representing water users. To date, ten of these associations have, with the support of the partners, undertaken a self-capacity assessment and completed relevant training to improve their governance. Partners include the Water Integrity Network (WIN), the World Wild Fund for Nature, water resource users associations, the Water Resource Management Authority and IWaSP.

Through the Water Resource Policy Anchoring Co-operation (2015-2016), IWaSP develops the capacity of the Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Organisations Network (KEWASNET) and its members to incorporate better use of water resource management principles and to facilitate improved private sector involvement.

The Nairobi Water Alliance Co-operation (2015-2017) conducted an assessment of water risks and opportunities for the Nairobi sub-catchment area. In partnership with the 2030 Water Resources Group, IWaSP has formed technical working groups to address the identified water-related risks within the sub-catchment area and to develop and coordinate joint actions to address these risks.

The Protection of South West Mau Forest Complex (2016-2018) partnership joins several companies and communities (through the WRUAs) in the Sondu River Catchment which recognise that their future depends on the ecosystem services the Mau Forest delivers. Stakeholders in the partnership will therefore protect the natural resources in the area and will ensure their sustainable use through four key areas: protection of the forest and catchments, regulation of the water resources, improvement of livelihoods and increased access to sustainable energy.

Achievements to Date

As of February 2016, IWaSP partnerships in Kenya have reached more than 70,000 direct beneficiaries and 120,000 indirect beneficiaries. For these partnerships more than EUR170,000 has been leveraged from private sector contributions.

Challenges and Outlook

Challenges to the success of these programmes include limited private sector engagement, which is being addressed by developing business cases and by approaching suitable private sector partners, as well as by building cooperation with other actors.

Weak public institutions pose further challenges. These are addressed with close cooperation with the bi-lateral water programme of GIZ, inviting public sector representatives to learning events on water stewardship and to make use of a successful pilot case with funding from a county government to increase public sector contribution.


Country Set-up

In Kenya, IWaSP is implemented by GIZ and is anchored in the bilateral and GIZ-implemented Water Sector Reform Programme (WSRP). IWaSP Kenya focuses on enabling multi-stakeholder partnerships on basin level.
IWaSP partners in this country include the Water Resources Management Authority and the Water Resources Users Association.

IWaSP is an international water security programme which combines global best practices in water stewardship with local know-how. Currently active in nine countries, the seven-year programme (2013-2019) 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).


Further Information on Kenya’s Water Resources

The Republic of Kenya, with an area of 582,650 km2 and a population of 44 million, lies on the equator with the Indian Ocean to the south-east. According to FAO, its average yearly rainfall amounts to 680 mm, varying between less than 250mm in the drier regions and more than 2,000mm in the highlands of the country. This means that water availability varies considerably between different parts of the country, which directly affects each region’s social and economic development.

Kenya is a water scarce country with only 647m³ of fresh water resources potentially available per person per year (according to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation’s Strategic Plan 2009-2012), which is well below the global benchmark of 1000m³ (set by the UN World Water Assessment Programme, 2009). Moreover, Kenya fails to exploit its full potential of fresh water, resulting in only 72.4m³ of fresh water which is actually made available per person per year.

Deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices and the human and animal invasion of river banks and wetlands damages catchment areas. Severe pollution, uncontrolled water extracting, climate change, worsening droughts and irregular rainfall patterns are largely contributing to the water crisis. Population growth and a rising economy increases the demand for fresh water even more. More water of good quality is needed to satisfy basic human needs, agriculture, hydropower and geothermal energy, tourism and fisheries. Moreover, water is necessary for maintaining environmental services.
Competition for this limited resource is on the rise.



Contact Information

Anne Marie Ran
Country Coordinator