The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund, Kenya

The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund, Kenya

© Nick Hall

1 Water Funds in Operation

5 Water Funds in Development

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Africa Water Funds

A coalition of Kenyan businesses, government agencies, conservation groups, and utilities launched Africa’s first Water Fund on March 20, 2015: The Upper-Tana Nairobi Water Fund. 

The Fund was designed to provide a sustained water supply to a system that delivers water to over 9.3 million people and to generate US$21.5 million in long-term benefits to Kenyan citizens including farmers and businesses. In Kenya alone, pollution and catchment degradation are estimated to cost at least 0.5 percent of GDP each year, equaling $32 million USD or Kenyan shillings 3.3 billion (1). As such, The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund provides urban users with the opportunity to mitigate these threats by investing in upstream watershed conservation efforts for the benefit of farmers, businesses and millions of Kenyans who depend on the Tana River for their fresh water.

The future of Water Funds in Africa looks promising. Building on the success of The Nairobi Water Fund, the potential for replicating the water fund model across Sub-Saharan Africa was recently assessed by The Nature Conservancy, which is helping to build momentum behind the creation of more water funds in high potential geographies, such as Cape Town, South Africa.