The Integrated & Climate Smart Innovation for Agro pastoralist Economies and Landscapes (ICSIAPL) and the Ending Drought Emergencies; Climate Proofed Infrastructure for Improved Water Supply and Sanitation in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (EDE-CPIRA) projects joined forces to organize a two-day learning event.
The two-day learning event which kicked off on Wednesday under the theme “Improving Livelihoods and Climate Resilience through Innovation in Kenya’s ASAL Counties”, brought together more than 200 participants including The National Government, 11 County Governments, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The European Union, Private Sectors, Farmers, Water User associations among other stakeholders.
The Chief Guest Engineer Sao Alima, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation was represented by The Deputy Director for Water Services Engineer Kimanthi Kyengo who emphasized the significance of the learning event and highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to sustainable and integrated development,
“We subscribe to SNV’s approaches of climate proofing water resources, integrated approaches to development, addressing resilience and strengthening partnerships. We have to realize that water is a finite resource and is constantly dwindling,” stated Kyengo
He also zeroed in on the importance of the Water-Agriculture and Energy Nexus.
“We know that agriculture is the largest consumer of our water resources, nearly 70 percent. Any action, policy position or strategy taken in either of these areas affects the other area. These call on us to think about water conservation, water harvesting and efficient water systems.”
The event provided farmers, private sector players, and stakeholders a platform to exchange ideas, showcase innovative solutions, and explore collaborative opportunities.
Pim Vander Male, The First Secretary and Deputy of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands underscored the importance of cross-partner partnerships and why they are critical for strengthened resilience.
“The Netherlands Government continues to appreciate its partnership with the European Union Delegation in Nairobi as funding partners to the ICSIAPL Project under the DeSIRA initiative. This partnership is very much in line with the Team Europe agenda of collaborative programming between EU member states,” he stated.
“In our recently launched 4-year strategic partnership plan in Kenya, we build on three core pillars; building and expanding the economic relationships between Kenya and The Netherlands, Strengthening Stability and Resilience and Addressing inequalities and leaving No one Behind. These are key enablers for a sustainable future especially in the ASALs which are vulnerable to Climate Change and Natural Resource Based conflicts,” he added.
Jackson Wahome, the Program Manager for the European Union in Kenya implored upon Kenyans to counter negative stereotypes associated with the ASALs,
“There is a belief that ASALs have had loads of investments yet nothing has improved. On the contrary, a lot has improved despite diverse and intricate challenges like massive population increase and climate change.
“We can see notable success in the roll out of integrated approaches in the Water-Energy-Food components. We have also seen the changes brought about by devolution which has moved resources closer to the people. These cannot be ignored,” he added.
The event facilitated networking sessions, enabling participants to establish valuable connections and explore potential partnerships with private-sector players operating in the water, agriculture and livestock sectors.
“SNV is proud to have hosted this learning event, bringing together different stakeholders who share a common vision for sustainable development,” said Jeen Kootstra, the Country Director SNV Kenya & Burundi.
The ICSIAPL project’s overall objective is to enhance the livelihoods of 10,000 agro-pastoralists (including women and youth) through improved forage production and sustainable landscape management in Taita Taveta, Narok and Kajiado. The project is funded by the European Union and The Min. of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and implemented by SNV and KALRO.
EDE-CPIRA endeavours to bring to scale the Public-Private-Community Partnerships (PPCPs) delivery model approach for water service delivery in the counties of Baringo, Kajiado, Kitui, Kilifi, Mandera, Samburu, Taita Taveta and West Pokot.
The project aims to improve the functionality and climate resilience of rural water systems. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by SNV and WSTF.