Mandate & Functions
The Kenya Water Towers Agency was formed out the long-term recommendations of the Mau Task Force for the recovery and rehabilitation of Kenya’s major water towers. There are 18 gazzetted, 24 non gazzetted water towers in Kenya. The major ones include the Mau, Aberdares, Mt Kenya, Cherangani, and Elgon.
They are critical to the realization of vision 2030, since they support every aspect of the economy including agriculture (irrigation), energy (hydro-power), tourism, wildlife, urban development, water supply, industry, tea sector, amelioration of climate and climate change, among others. They are also vital in providing livelihoods through bio-enterprises.
Over the last decades, there has been extensive degradation of water towers due to encroachment, excisions, ill planned settlements and illegal forest resources extraction. Other factors include; conflicting policies, narrow sectoral management approaches, systemic and structural challenges, weak law enforcement, poor governance and lack of coordination. Degradation has impacted negatively on environment, water resources, biodiversity and socio-economic development. This has in turn exacerbated conflicts over resources propelled by both genders.
- Co-ordinate and oversee the protection, rehabilitation, conservation, and sustainable management of water towers;
- Co-ordinate and oversee the recovery and restoration of forest lands, wetlands and biodiversity hot spots;
- Promote the implementation of sustainable livelihood programmes in the water towers in accordance with the natural resource conservation;
- Mobilize resources from the Government, development partners and other stakeholders as well as through payment for environmental services, including carbon reservoirs and sequestration;
- In consultation with the relevant stakeholders, identify water towers and watersheds for protection;
- Assess and monitor rehabilitation, conservation and management activities in the water towers; and
- Perform such other functions as the Minister may, from time to time, assign to the Agency.