Water, climate and energy: the Netherlands and Kenya

The Netherlands is your partner in tackling water, climate and energy issues.

Water management

The Dutch delta has the world’s best flood defences. 70% of the Dutch population lives below sea level. That’s why the Netherlands has so much expertise in flood control and clean water.

The Netherlands works together with other countries to tackle water-related issues around the world, like irrigation, safe river banks and clean drinking water. Our country also contributes to transboundary management of 7 international river basins in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

A Special Envoy for International Water Affairs has been appointed to promote Dutch knowledge and expertise in the area of water management.

Climate and energy

The Netherlands wants to promote the use of sustainable energy.

The Netherlands endorses international agreements on reducing CO2 emissions and the depletion of natural resources.

Water, climate and energy: the Netherlands and your country or region

The Water portfolio of the Netherlands Embassy in Kenya

Kenya faces particular challenges with regard to the sustainable management of water resources and access to water, including safe drinking water. Water use and water demand for different purposes (drinking water and sanitation, agriculture, pastoralism and industry), is expected to rise significantly in the coming years.

The embassy aims at contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 6 and at contributing to help solve water problems in Kenya via its development portfolio: ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Because the Embassy is currently in a transitional period from aid to trade, involvement of the private sector is essential. We are building on the experience and relations that were built through our aid program to ensure mutual beneficial relationships between the Kenyan and Netherlands’ water sectors. To promote business we opened the Netherlands Business Hub in Nairobi, the staff of which comprises a water expert.

Efficient water- and resource management is essential for economic development, food security and poverty reduction. Particular attention is paid to gender and to climate change adaptation, in order to ensure resilience for both people and landscapes. Moreover, the Embassy monitors the implementation of centrally funded (from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague) wildlife programs. 

The Embassy works in five different focus areas:

  1. Water Operator Partnerships - The Water Operator Partnerships (WOP) are a collaboration between Dutch water boards and Kenyan water providers, focused on improving management as well as service provision and operation and maintenance of the water companies in for instance the WOP project in Naivasha and the WOP project in Mombasa.
  2. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene - Improving access to reliable water and sanitation facilities, especially focused at targeting 1,6 million Kenyans in rural areas, and the poorer urban areas.
  3. Smart Water for Agriculture  (SWA)- The SWA program is a market-oriented trade and development activity in the nexus between Water, Food Security and Climate Change, aimed at private-sector investments in farmer led irrigation projects.
  4. Integrated Water Resource Management - The Embassy aims at contributing to improvement of the catchment areas of the Lake Naivasha Basin and the Mau Mara via the landscape approach with the MAMASE program; taking into account various stakeholders who are using and benefiting from these water sources.
  5. Innovative Finance - Addressing problems in the water sector requires large investments. The Kenyan National Water Action Plan 2030 indicates that USD 2 billion is needed the coming years to bridge the gap between budget needs and available budget, since no public budget nor donor budget is able to cover the costs. Via the Kenya Innovative Finance Facility for Water (KIFFWA) and its first initiative the Kenya Pooled Water Fund it is aimed to leverage public and private funds in the water sector through domestic resource mobilization.

Although the Embassy’s development budget for the Water portfolio will be phased out by 2020, centrally funded projects from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague will continue to develop initiatives to support the water sector in Kenya. An example hereof is the Sustainable Water Fund of the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO); a Public-Private Partnership facility which aims to contribute to water safety and water security in developing and middle-income countries, whereas the Develop2Build and DRIVE programs focus more on infrastructure and port development. 

Information on all projects the Embassy is currently implementing can be found via the website of the Dutch organization AKVO.