Water is life. Many of us may take this precious commodity for granted, maybe because they’ve never really struggled to get access to it. It has either always been available through their taps, or there has always been someone to go fetch some for them. But at least everyone appreciates the importance of water conservation and so does the giant soft drinks multinational coca cola who in partnership with the Nature Conservancy and other partners have launched a Kshs.1.4 billion water endowment fund.
As it is, Kenya is classified by the United Nations as a water scarce country with less than a third of the population accessing an improved water source. As the population grows and farming intensifies, the wetlands that store water are disappearing and sediment runoff is polluting the Upper Tana’s streams, rivers and reservoirs. The fund, dubbed Nairobi Water fund, is meant to promote conservation and restoration efforts in watersheds, key among them the Upper Tana Basin. This will be crucial for support of surrounding agricultural land and wildlife habitat.
As Bob Okello, Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager, Coca- Cola East Africa says, At Coca-Cola foundation, we believe in investing in water as it is a critical component to sustainable development. We cannot ignore the fact that without adequate water supply, most sectors of the economy such as health, manufacturing, energy and many others will be affected”. “As we mark this year’s World Water Day, this endowment fund will be a critical component to water security and management in this country,” he added.
The Nature Conservancy has successfully implemented a similar water endowment fund in Ecuador and Colombia.