Politics and policy
Sh840m fund planned to protect Tana basin
Posted Tuesday, July 31 2012 at 18:02
A Sh840 million ($10 million) water fund will be created to support the conservation of the Tana River basin which supplies 90 per cent of Nairobi’s water needs and the bulk of energy for Kenya’s power generation.
The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund, which will be launched next year, will be structured as an endowment fund and will provide resources for conservation efforts for catchment areas in the Tana basin that extends from Mt Kenya to the Aberdare Ranges.
The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organisation is helping to establish the fund. It pioneered the Water Fund concept and has helped to create similar funds in various countries over the past decade.
“The fund will be in the form of a public-private board that will ensure transparency and accountability and will be responsible for identifying sub-catchment areas to work with and the type of interventions needed and will also be responsible for recruiting donors,” said Mr Colin Apse, a senior conservation advisor at the Nature Conservancy.
The fund will engage large public and private water consumers which include utility companies, downstream industries, agricultural producers and donor agencies and will link them to upstream water users.
Conserving upstream catchment areas will be the main focus of the fund to ensure adequate supply of clean water downstream.
Degradation of upstream catchment areas has been the major cause of siltation of downstream reservoirs, drop in water quantity and decline in water quality leading to increased treatment costs.
Contributions to the fund are mainly expected from donor and aid agencies and large downstream water consumers. Whereas the government has not committed itself to make any monetary contributions, it is expected to provide expertise.