Through support from The Coca-Cola Foundation and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) have reduced their water treatment costs by 30%, allowing them to expand their network to reach over 800,000 of Nairobi’s residents.
A pilot investment of Kshs5.2m by The Coca-Cola Foundation, followed by a larger investment of Kshs126m enabled the establishment of The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund in 2015. Since then, The Water Fund has resulted in well over 100M Litres of water being added to Nairobi’s water system per day.
The network extensions were last week handed over to Fred Kihara, TNC Director of Water Funds, by Duncan Kimani, Manufacturing Director of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, at Thika Dam, Ndakaini.
The partnership between The Coca-Cola Foundation, NCWSC and TNC is part of the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), the Coca-Cola programme which aims to reach six (6) million people across the continent with improved access to safe water by the end of 2020.
Kihamba said, “We are grateful for the partnership of Coca-Cola and The Nature Conservancy, and for the hardworking farm owners of Ndakaini, and the watershed. Today, over 100MM Litres per day flow into our water system that were not present before The Nairobi Water Fund; we look forward to what we can achieve together going forward.”
The increase in quality source water has come as a direct result of the work completed by The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund, Africa’s first water fund. The Tana River provides Nairobi with 95% of its water and the Fund works to protect Nairobi’s water supply by increasing the amount of clean water which flows through the rivers and streams that make up the Tana Water Basin.
The Water Fund achieves this by working far upstream, in the steep hills and farmlands that make up the Maragua, Sagana and Thika-Chania watersheds (all of which feed the Tana River).
The Water Fund works with the tens of thousands of smallholder farmers that rely upon this land to improve its management and sustainable use. By supporting these activities upstream – such as terracing, agroforestry and the installation of new irrigation technology – the Upper Tana–Nairobi Water Fund is securing water for Nairobi’s future. Farmers happily receive these trainings and materials provided by The Water Fund because, in addition to protecting their soil, they also significantly improve their livelihoods.
The Fund supports several activities that not only conserve water, but empower women, reverse deforestation, provide a voice to rural farmers and a platform for communities to come together and ensure a safe, sustainable supply of water for future generations.
“Ensuring every community maintains access to adequate and sustainable water services provides the foundation upon which we can build and contributes to fostering sound economic development and stronger, healthier communities,” said, Mr. Kimani “through the hard work of Nairobi Water, The Water Fund and thousands of farm owners and community members, we have improved water access for over 800,000 people, a feat that is by no means small, and should be celebrated.”
The Nature Conservancy has over 30 Water Funds currently in operation globally, including The Greater Cape Town Water Fund, Africa’s second, established in 2016 in response to Cape Town’s growing water struggles. As a private sector partner, The Coca-Cola Foundation brings additional value to both Funds through its years of expertise in water security and replenishment activities in local communities across the continent. In addition to funding project activities, The Coca-Cola Foundation advises The Nairobi Water Fund’s steering committee, playing an active role in its strategy and success.
“Coca-Cola has been excellent in helping us achieve our goal of improving land management in the watershed and enhancing the capabilities of our partners, Nairobi Water. There are tens of thousands of hardworking farmers that have benefitted from their dedication as well. It a great example of how private sector leadership can further the productivity of NGOs and civil entities,” Anthony Karuiki, Manager of The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund remarked.
Crucial to the sustainability of the work The Nairobi Water Fund has facilitated is the Kshs758m endowment that has also been established. Interest generated by this fund will provide a sustainable source of ongoing funding for watershed conservation activities for many years to come.