Building water resilience in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid land areas

Building water resilience in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid land areas

Share this:
Project detail:
Status: Active
Countries: Africa, Kenya


Arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) counties in Kenya have increasingly faced challenges due to climate change, which has led to increased water scarcity across various counties. In response, the Adaptation Consortium (ADA) conceptualised and piloted a devolved climate finance model that facilitates the flow of climate finance to the local level to finance public good investments. This model was tested out in County Climate Change Fund (CCCF) mechanism pilot phase was undertaken in the ASAL counties of Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui and Makueni.

Between 2012 and 2018, 114 public good adaptation investments were established across the five counties, financed through the CCCF, 95 of which were water projects including boreholes, sand dams, water weirs, rock catchments, earth dams and water pans. The projects improved the livelihoods of the dependent communities, and their sustainability/functionality remains a matter of interest to the beneficiaries and partners.

In 2019, ADA conducted a functionality and governance study to assess 62 of the 95 water projects. This study involved a comprehensive examination of the key issues affecting the sustainability/functionality of these CCCF-funded adaptation investments in the counties. In 2023, a longitudinal functionality and governance study was commissioned by CDKN, assessing the same investments as the 2019 study by ADA.

Project objectives

The primary objective of the longitudinal study was to identify and assess the factors (challenges and successes) that affect the functionality and governance of the public good investments. Specific objectives included investigating technical issues, assessing community engagement, examining governance challenges, and analysing factors influencing projects' sustainability.

Project activities

A mixed-methods approach was employed, combining focus group discussions (FGD), key informant interviews (KII) with videography and photography, and observation checklists for technical assessments. Field data was gathered that captured the perspectives of communities, site committees and relevant stakeholders. 

A National Learning Event, "Learning from the Experience of Climate Resilient Public Good Investments" on 17th April 2024 8.30am - 4.30pm EAT aims to distil insights from the longitudinal study and foster a collective understanding of policy and good practices for investing in climate-resilient public goods. 

Project outputs

The findings have been synthesised into a number of knowledge products, including:

  • A synthesis report
  • Five technical briefs
  • A policy brief
  • Five videos (one for each county plus one overarching)