Unpredictable climate change will most likely increase water insecurity arising from erratic rainfall. The Principal Secretary for Environment Mr Charles Sunkuli warned that this will cause challenges in food security and slow recovery by small holder farmers.
The PS further called for concerted efforts to manage land, water and biodiversity in a bid to address food insecurity. This he said will safeguard the country’s long term potential of agricultural productivity and water supply.
Mr Sunkuli made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Environment Secretary Dr Alice Kaudia. This was during the launch of Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund recently at a Nairobi hotel. The project aims at conserving water catchment basin thus improving the ecosystem and quality of life of local communities.
The more than Ksh1.2 billion financing from the Global Environment Fund (GEF), Government of Kenya and local stakeholders will support about 21,00 rural small holder families to adopt climate smart farming that is expected to stabilise and restore ecosystems along the Upper Tana Basin, which is the source of water supply for Nairobi city and its environs.
“Forests and wetlands in the project area played an important role in maintaining water quality and quantity alongside providing space where runoff water and sediment are stored and filtered naturally,” the PS observed.
He said that however, due to significant growth of the agriculture sector in the area, sedimentation is reducing the capacity of reservoirs.
The Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund is expected to work with public and private sector partners, to establish the Water Fund, which will act as a sustainable financing mechanism to support integrated natural resource management approaches in the catchment area.
The project is also expected to boost water quality and quantity for both upstream and downstream users, offer climate change adaptation and resilience capabilities among other benefits.