IEWM has recently collaborated with the University of the West of England (UWE) in a joint project to help secure a year-round water supply for a group of urban farmers in Kibera, one of Nairobi’s poorest and most vulnerable areas. The Kichinjio water and urban agriculture project is a community based organisation which was started 9 years ago with the help of European NGO Solidarity (www.solidarites.org), who’s mission was to raise awareness about the importance of unity between different ethnic groups and tribes in Kenya through the use of urban agriculture. This became particularly important after the post-election violence in 2007/8 when ending tribal conflict and promoting peace was paramount. Since then, the project has had ongoing support from the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in the forms of capacity building and resource allocation and is benefiting the local community by selling water and also reaching the wider community by wholesaling fruits and vegetables (kale, spinach, cassava, bananas) to retailers in the area.
We are currently working towards maintaining and linking a small water pond on the site to an elevated drip irrigation system via a solar pump. During the dry seasons, the farmers and the surrounding community experience economic and social hardships due to poor agricultural productivity and higher food prices. IEWM and UWE’s interventions will allow vegetable production and incomes to remain stable throughout the year by securing a safe, reliable and efficient water supply.