Water Security for Turkana, Kenya (WATSECT)

Project name :

Water Security for Turkana, Kenya (WATSECT)

Budget :

100K$ - 500K$

Project duration :

13-12-2018

Location :

Turkana County, Kenya
Donor: Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The current proposed project envisages the provision of sustainable access to adequate, clean and safe water, to improve livelihoods, as well as to promote sanitation and personal hygiene of the target group of communities in Turkana county of Kenya.

Project Rationale

The Turkana County in Kenya is situated within the boundaries of the former Rift Valley province. Turkana faces both physical and economic water scarcity interchangeably during and between seasons. Water resources potential for the county is not yet established, as no proper monitoring installations exist in permanent rivers. The presumed availability of groundwater along river lines is the key reason for shallow wells and boreholes across the county. Access to water greatly affects food security as clearly observed through levels of livestock production, crop production, sanitation, health and nutrition, and therefore hampering human productivity.

The Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental programme of the United Nations system devoted to water research and management, and related education and capacity development. The Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme stimulates and encourages hydrological research and assists Member States in research and training activities. By bringing innovative, multidisciplinary and environmentally sound methods and tools into play, while fostering and capitalizing on advances in water sciences, IHP acts at the science-policy nexus to help meeting today’s global water challenges.

Climate change, in combination with existing political, environmental and economic development challenges in Turkana, has an impact on the Turkana people’s ability to access food, water, health and security. Turkana County has long experienced periods of cyclical drought.

With this intervention the project team will consult with communities particularly affected by major environmental impact and climate change about alternative livelihood provisions prior to the implementation of climate change adaptation plans. The project aims at improving water security at Turkana country, taking into consideration the effects of climate change in water as well as the predominately pastoralistic life of the indigenous people of the region.

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Overall Objective

The current project proposed, envisages the provision of sustainable access to adequate, clean and safe water, to improve livelihoods and promote sanitation and personal hygiene of the target group of communities in Turkana county of Kenya. This project is expected to provide the following results for the Turkana community:

  • An access for the target communities to safe, sustainable, reliable and well -managed water facilities and consequent improvement of livelihood. Critical mass of experts/community leaders trained in aspects of safe, sustainable and reliable provision of water
  • Efficient operation of Eco-friendly-driven systems for lighting and water pumping in the target communities.
  • Implementation of M&E system and strengthening cooperation with other relevant departments.

Implementation strategy

Water supply and sanitation will be linked, and special sanitation awareness campaigns will be carried out in the target areas. The entry points will be education institutions and health centres. The messages will be related to health, hygiene, environmental protection and avoiding pollution.

Regarding the use of alternative energy solutions, the focus is on water extraction technologies with solar or wind power, but the expected water-related income generating activities might also require other alternative energy solutions. By promoting the use of alternative energy sources, it is also very important to provide professional staff for the maintenance of these new technologies.

Water related activities refers to using water for agricultural purposes. For livestock breeding, two factors are essential: available water and grassland. Normally the water is the limiting factor, which means that herds have to leave the pastures near the villages due to lack of water, although grass is still available. The intervention seeks to increase the availability of water, thus allowing the animals to fully exploit the pastures next to the villages. The ecological impact will be closely monitored to avoid negative results but to grant sustainability and other forms of livelihood.

Incorporate community awareness and education programs through the various departments within the county concerning health, sanitation and hygiene. The in-depth training of the project team will allow for ongoing maintenance of existing solar systems. Training at different institutions of higher learning by members of staff, through distance learning in courses relevant to their work, shall enhance the output of the team. Special attention will be paid to the existing women’s groups for small-scale agricultural activities.

Activity 1: Public outreach and awareness campaigns on water and sanitation in Turkana County: The entry points will be education institutions, health centres and faith based groups. The messages will be related to health, hygiene, environmental protection and avoiding pollution.

Activity 2: Rainwater harvesting demonstration to community: Along the river and streams creation of small bunds to stop the flowing water in order to facilitate groundwater recharge.

Activity 3: Capacity building for technicians on maintenance of water extraction systems: the focus is on water extraction technologies with solar power, but the expected water-related income generating activities might also require other alternative energy solutions. By promoting the use of alternative energy sources, it is also very important to provide professional staff for the maintenance of these new technologies.

Activity 4: Water use for agriculture and livestock management: For livestock breeding, two factors are essential: available water and grassland. Normally the water is the limiting factor, which means that herds have to leave the pastures near the villages due to lack of water, although grass is still available. The intervention seeks to increase the availability of water, thus allowing the animals to fully exploit the pastures next to the villages. The ecological impact will be closely monitored to avoid negative results but to grant sustainability and other forms of livelihood.  

Incorporate community awareness and education programs through the various departments within the county concerning health, sanitation and hygiene. The in-depth training of the project team carried out by an external Expert will allow for ongoing maintenance of existing solar systems. Training at different institutions of higher learning by members of staff, through distance learning in courses relevant to their work, shall enhance the output of the team. Special attention will be paid to the existing women’s groups for small-scale agricultural activities.

Project expected Outcome

  • Access for the target communities to safe, sustainable, reliable and well -managed water facilities and consequent improvement of livelihood. Critical mass of experts/community leaders trained in aspects of safe, sustainable and reliable provision of water
  • Efficient operation of Eco-friendly-driven systems for lighting and water pumping in the target communities.
  • Implementation of M&E system and strengthening cooperation with other relevant departments.

The outcome of the project is contributing directly to SDG 6,  “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”  and indirectly to SDG 1 to end poverty, 2 to achieve food security, 3 to ensure healthy lives, 4 on inclusive education, 7 on sustainable energy, 13 to combat climate change and 15 to sustain biodiversity.

The Africa We Want Agenda 2063 Framework Document that contains the vision for 2063, a comprehensive situational analysis of key issues, the goals, priorities, targets and indicative strategies, as well as proposals on “Making it happen” dealing with implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Under the Aspiration 1 A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development and Goal 7 Environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economies and communities, in which water security has been identified among the main priorities.

© UNESCO

Project Contact

UNESCO Nairobi - nairobi@unesco.org

Dr Jayakumar Ramasamy - r.jayakumar@unesco.org

Dr Samuel Partey - s.partey@unesco.org

Dr Alexandros K Makarigakis - a.makarigakis@unesco.org