In a first for Africa, a public-private water fund was launched in Kenya on Friday, bringing together businesses, utilities, conservation groups, government and farmers to fund upstream water conservation through activities such as watershed protection and reforestation.
The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund was launched by the Nature Conservancy, a US-based NGO, which has used the same model in 32 initiatives in Latin America. Its partners in Kenya include East African Breweries Ltd, Coca-Cola, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC), and electricity provider KenGen.
The 1,000-km Tana river, which flows from the Aberdare mountains north of Nairobi to the Indian Ocean, is Kenya’s longest, and supplies 95% of the water used by the capital’s estimated 3.4 million residents.
Since the 1970s, forests and wetlands in the Tana river basin have been converted to agricultural land. Where water would once have been stored in the soil and filtered, it is now running straight into the rivers, increasing sedimentary deposits. These deposits clog up reservoirs and push up the cost of water treatment.
An estimated 60% of Nairobi’s residents do not have a secure water supply, and demand has grown by 350% since 2004, according to NCWSC.
The new fund will be managed by a trust, which seeks to raise $15m (£10m) to invest in soil and water conservation activities in the Upper Tana watershed. Landowners and NGOs will work upstream to protect the watershed and “harness nature’s ability to capture, filter, store and deliver clean and reliable water”, according to the Upper-Tana Nairobi Water Fund business case report.
The report said a $10m investment will return $21.5m in economic benefits over 30 years, including gains for farmers, Nairobi’s water and sewerage company, and KenGen.
“It’s good economic science and the best we could do,” said Colin Apse, senior freshwater conservation adviser at the Nature Conservancy.
He added that the Zambian capital Lusaka was preparing to launch a similar scheme, with other cities in sub-Saharan Africa also expected to roll out water funds in the future.
Cambodia has ordered a temporary halt to all sand dredging operations in the country's rivers and lakes in order to study the environment and social impact of a practice that has caused deadly river bank collapse incidents.
The moratorium was set Wednesday at a meeting of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Environment, police and military police
Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem told a news conference that the environmental and social impact studies will determine the future of sand dredging. Much of the sand is exported to neighboring Southeast Asian countries and used in construction.
“The government will also stop issuing any new licenses until the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Mines and Energy discuss with local authorities at all levels first,” he said.
Suy Sem didn’t say when the studies will begin or how long they will take.
Under the policy, holders of sand dredging business licenses must submit new applications, he added.
However, Suy Sem said in order to meet local demand for sand, companies who hold valid licenses can apply to extend their permit dredge sand at existing dredging sites. They will not be permitted to open new dredging sites during the moratorium period.
“In order to avoid illegal sand dredging, we can extend licenses to meet sand demand," he said, promising quick approval to applications to continue existing dredging.
Suy Sem said that there are 142 sand dredging companies operating in Cambodia, but only 37 of them have licenses.
“Companies whose licenses are expired must stop to avoid breaking the law. We are working hard to extend their licenses in a short period of time, but if they continue to operate, they will be prosecuted, “he said.
Military Police Commander in Chief Sao Sokha said he would cooperate with the two ministries to stop illegal sand dredging.
Minister of Environment Say Sam Al said the government will conduct studies along rivers, tributaries and the sea coast to determine which areas can sustain exploitation of sand.
He rejected the notion that dredging was the sole cause of river collapses and landslides, saying natural erosion was also a factor.
A ground-breaking collaboration between dairy industry body DairyNZ, the Waikato River Authority and Waikato Regional Council is lining up to better protect and restore the Waikato River.
Their Waikato River Restoration Strategy project was launched near Hamilton today by Environment Minister Nick Smith. It’s believed to be the first collaborative initiative of its type involving such organisations in the country and will run till 2017.
The Authority and DairyNZ are contributing $200,000 each in direct costs with the regional council contributing $75,000. Other costs will be met by significant in-kind support, such as staff time, from DairyNZ and the council.
The three organisations involved in the strategy have all put major resources into helping protect and restore the river in recent years. .
A key aim of the new Waikato River Restoration Strategy will be to ensure that this combined work – plus the work of other agencies - is carried out as efficiently as possible, whilst obtaining maximum benefit by ensuring it is integrated and co-ordinated.
The strategy will help guide investment decisions for improving the health of the Waikato River over the next five to 15 years. It is also designed to guide the work of other stakeholders committed to improving the health and well-being of the river. The strategy will be one of the key tools for delivering on the Vision and Strategy for a restored and protected Waikato River and its catchments.
A key supporting action has been the creation of a Waikato River Restoration Forum, involving the three strategy partners as well as all Waikato River Iwi, the Department of Conservation, Fonterra, Genesis Energy and Mighty River Power, along with local councils. The forum is chaired by the Authority’s CEO Bob Penter, and will offer advice and input into the preparation of the strategy.
“Our aim is to maximise opportunities to realise the vision for a healthy Waikato River that sustains abundant life and prosperous communities,” said Authority co-chair Tukoroirangi Morgan.
“Those communities, in turn, are all responsible for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, and all it embraces, for generations to come.”
Energy-starved Pakistanis, their economy battered by chronic fuel and electricity shortages, may soon have to contend with a new resource crisis: major water shortages, the Pakistani government warned this week.
A combination of global climate change and local waste and mismanagement have led to an alarmingly rapid depletion of Pakistan’s water supply, said the minister for water and energy, Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
“Under the present situation, in the next six to seven years, Pakistan can be a water-starved country,” Mr. Asif said in an interview, echoing a warning that he first issued at a news conference in Lahore this week.
The prospect of a major water crisis in Pakistan, even if several years distant, offers a stark reminder of a growing challenge in other poor and densely populated countries that are vulnerable to global climate change.
In Pakistan, it poses a further challenge to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose government has come under sharp criticism for failing to end the country’s electricity crisis. In some rural areas, heavy rationing has meant that as little as four hours of electricity a day is available.
In the interview, Mr. Asif said the government had started to bring the electricity crisis under control, and predicted a return to a normal supply by 2017. But energy experts are less confident that such a turnaround is possible, given how long and complex the problem has proved to be.
Now the country’s water supply looms as a resource challenge, intensified by Pakistan’s enduring infrastructure and management problems.
Agriculture is a cornerstone of the Pakistani economy. The 2,000-mile-long Indus River, which rises in the Himalayas and spans the country, feeds a vast network of irrigation canals that line fields producing wheat, vegetables and cotton, all major sources of foreign currency. In the north,hydroelectric power stations are a cornerstone of the creaking power system.
A combination of melting glaciers, decreasing rainfall and chronic mismanagement by successive governments has put that water supply in danger, experts say.
Image: Afghan refugees pumped water by hand in a slum of Islamabad, Pakistan. An official warned that Pakistan could become “a water-starved country. © Muhammed Muheisen / Associated Press
Would you like to write a story on something river related in your area? To do so, send us an original article that is 500 words or less (.txt or .doc files only), upload a picture in jpeg format (max 2mg) and if we like it, we’ll post it on our site as well as send you out an IRF gift pack.
International Riverfoundation is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of personal information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect personal information in our care.
How do we collect personal information?
We may request information about you when you purchase or make enquires about our products and services; when you enter competitions or register for promotions or when you request brochures or other information. We may also collect information when we invite you to complete surveys or provide us with feedback.
What personal information do we collect?
We collect information that is required for use in the business activities of International Riverfoundation This may include: name; mailing address; e-mail; telephone number(s); financial details necessary in order to process various transactions and any other information you may elect to provide to us.
How do we use personal information?
We may use personal information to provide information and services. International Riverfoundation may use the information for related purposes such as:
Identification of fraud or error
Regulatory reporting and compliance
Internal accounting and administration
Servicing our relationship with our customers by, amongst other things, providing updates on promotions and services we think may interest you or to involve you in market research.
Is the information disclosed to third parties?
We may disclose information about individuals as permitted by law. We may share information with regulatory bodies and law enforcement officials, provide information to protect against fraud and share information with your consent.
Security of information
International Riverfoundation has implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial security procedures in order to protect personal information from loss, misuse, alteration or destruction. International Riverfoundation regularly reviews security and encryption technologies and will strive to protect information to the fullest extent possible.
Access and correction of personal information
Feedback & complaints
This website is owned and operated by International RiverFoundation.
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY
International RiverFoundation is not liable to you or anyone else for any loss in connection with use of this website or a linked website. This general disclaimer is not restricted or modified by any of the following specific warnings or disclaimers.
Specific Warnings and Disclaimers
The Trade Practices Act and similar State and Territory legislation in Australia may confer rights and remedies on you in relation to the provision by us of goods or services on the Website, which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. We do not exclude these rights but do exclude all other conditions and warranties implied by custom, law or statute.
We are not liable to you or anyone else if interference with or damage to your computer systems occurs in connection with use of this website or a linked website. You must take your own precautions to ensure that whatever you select for your use from this website is free of viruses or anything else (such as worms or trojan horses) that may interfere with or damage the operations of your computer systems. We do not warrant that your access to the website will be uninterrupted or error free or that any defects will be corrected.
Under no circumstances (including but not limited to any act or omission on the part of International RiverFoundation) will International RiverFoundation be liable for any indirect, incidental, special and/or consequential damages or loss of profits whatsoever which result from any use or access of, or any inability to use or access, the website.
This website is our copyright property. You are provided with access to it only for your personal and non-commercial use. Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright Act 1968 or any other applicable legislation throughout the world, you may not, in any form or by any means:
• Adapt, reproduce, store, distribute, transmit, print, display, perform, publish or create derivative works from any part of this website; or
• Commercialise any information, products or services obtained from any part of this Website without our written permission.
International RiverFoundation products and services referred to in this website are trade marks of International RiverFoundation. Other product and company names mentioned in this website may be the trade marks of other people or entities. Nothing contained in the website should be construed as granting any licence or right of use of any trade mark or part of any trade mark displayed on the website without the written permission of International RiverFoundation or third party owner.
This website may contain links to linked websites. Those links are provided for convenience only and may not remain current or be maintained. Links to those websites should not be construed as any endorsement, approval, recommendation or preference by us of the owners or operators of the sites, or of any information, products or services referred to on those other sites unless specifically stated. Unless otherwise stated the linked websites are not under the control of International RiverFoundation and International RiverFoundation is not responsible for the contents of any linked website. You link to any such website at your own risk.
In this website:
"IRF" means International RiverFoundation unless otherwise specified.
"linked websites" means websites of persons or entities other than International RiverFoundation which are hyperlinked from this website.
"Personal Information" means any information from which your identity is apparent or can be reasonably be ascertained.
"website" means the whole or any part of the web pages located at www.RiverFoundation.org.au (including the lay-out of this website, individual elements of the website design, underlying code elements of this website, or text, sounds, graphics, animated elements or any other content of this website.)
"We" and "us" refer to International RiverFoundation, and "our" has the same meaning.
© 2007-2010 International RiverFoundation
All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without consent.
In order to begin the online application process, please fill out some simple details for us and select which application you'd like to complete. Text fields with asterisks are mandatory. You will then be emailed a secure link to your online application form which you can access at any time.