Making Water Provision a Reality in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid lands
Despite the fact that the Constitution of Kenya guarantees every Kenyan the right to access clean and safe water in adequate quantities, a majority of the residents of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) that make up 89 percent of the Kenyan landmass do not have access to this basic commodity. Under the 2010 Constitution and following the adoption of devolved governance in 2013, county governments are now tasked with responding to this critical service delivery shortfall.
To address this challenge, SUNY/CID’s AHADI project and the Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (K-RAPID) are supporting a national level joint ASAL county consultative process. The process engages senior staff in County Executive Committees in charge of water with other stakeholders in the water sector to discuss critical issues regarding provision of water and the need to develop water and sanitation policies in their respective counties.
AHADI’s partner counties of Turkana, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, and Isiolo (part of the larger ASAL counties) have been grappling with the challenges of perennial droughts and unpredictable weather patterns. The unpredictable supply of water is compounded by lack of a clear policy in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector.
“The policy developed from this process will guide us in the development of a realistic Strategic Plan for Water in Isiolo County.’’ Amina Omar, the County Executive Member
AHADI and K-RAPID are also addressing the capacity gaps experienced in by counties by providing technical support. Specialized consultants are working with counties to help them clarify needed interventions and to develop responsive water polices and bills.
This will ultimately lead to the establishment of a governance framework for the development and management of the water sector in Kenya. The framework will in turn play a critical role in clarifying the separation of roles between institutions and actors in the management of water resources, including sanitation and sewerage.
“The policy developed from this process will guide us in the development of a realistic strategic plan for water and irrigation in Isiolo County. It will guide us in the establishment of the right water infrastructure,’’ said Amina Omar, the Isiolo County Executive member in charge of water, irrigation, environment and natural resources.
Posted June 7, 2016